Peter Tatchell: No one, including Grindr serial killer Stephen Port, should get whole life sentence
LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has contacted PinkNews to say he believes all whole life sentences are wrong, including for that of Grindr serial killer Stephen Port, because they give no chance of parole.
Mr Tatchell told PinkNews he is “uncomfortable with whole life sentences, with no option of ever being released.”
A whole life sentence is a court order whereby a prisoner who is being sentenced to life imprisonment is ordered to serve that sentence without possibility of parole.
Only the Home Secretary or the Court of Appeal can overturn a whole life sentence.
The life-long LGBT rights campaigner said: “A life sentence is entirely appropriate for these shocking, premeditated multiple murders and rapes.
“However, I am uncomfortable with whole life sentences, with no option of ever being released.
“If a jailed person expresses sincere remorse, has genuinely reformed and no longer poses a threat to the public, after serving 30-plus years they should be eligible for parole under licence and supervision. Allowing the possibility of redemption is the right thing to do.”
When asked to clarify that he doesn’t believe in whole life sentences for anybody, including Stephen Port, Mr Tatchell replied “correct”.
“I oppose all automatic whole life sentences because they deny the option of reform and redemption.
“But in the case of very serious crimes like Port’s, the offenders should still serve 30-plus years as a punishment and deterrent.
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“Only then, if a jailed person expresses sincere remorse, has genuinely reformed and no longer poses a threat to the public, should they be eligible for parole under licence and supervision.
“In the case of still dangerous, unreformed brutal killers life should mean life. They should not be released.”
Handing down the sentenced, Mr Justice Openshaw said Port had told “the most elaborate lie” in relation to the death of one of the men in the witness box.
The four victims were poisoned with lethal doses of the date-rape drug GHB.
Port was also earlier found guilty of a number of sexual offences and of administering a substance with intent.
The court had heard that he used GHB to poison the men, then had sex with them while they were unconscious.