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Fears over appeal by convicted murderer Arthur Hutchinson
7:36am Saturday 24th August 2013 in News
A NORTH Yorkshire MP has spoken out after a convicted murderer, who escaped Selby police 30 years ago, announced he was set to appeal against his whole life sentence.
In September 1983, Arthur Hutchinson dived through a window at Selby Magistrates’ Court minutes before he was due to appear.
Three weeks later, while still on the run, Hutchinson murdered solicitor Basil Laitner, Avril Laitner, his wife, and their son Richard, after a wedding reception near Sheffield.
He also raped a woman before he was recaptured in November that year.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1984, and though the trial judge recommended that he should serve a minimum of 18 years, he was given a whole life tariff by the then Home Secretary.
Last month, however, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that whole-life jail terms without the possibility of review amount to a breach of human rights.
A national newspaper has reported that Hutchinson, now 73, was preparing to lodge an appeal on his whole-life sentence, only weeks after the ECHR ruling.
Writing on his official Facebook profile, Nigel Adams, the MP for Selby and Ainsty, spoke of his concern over Hutchinson’s planned appeal.
Mr Adams said he remembered “very well” Hutchinson escaping from Selby police, leading to local panic and schoolchildren being kept indoors while the area was searched.
He said: “He now wants to use European human rights laws to appeal against his ‘whole-life’ sentence recommendation.
“This evil murderer should die in jail and is a good example of why we need to review/replace ECHR legislation.”