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When will triple child killer David McGreavy be released from prison?

PUBLISHED: 16:57 29 January 2019

David McGreavy who killed three children before hanging their mutilated bodies on a fence outside their home Picture: PA WIRE

David McGreavy who killed three children before hanging their mutilated bodies on a fence outside their home Picture: PA WIRE

PA Archive/PA Images

Officials have refused to confirm when triple murderer David McGreavy will walk free - or if he is already out in the community - after he was cleared for release from a Suffolk prison.

A policeman stands outside the house where the bodies of three children were found impaled on garden railings Picture: PA WIREA policeman stands outside the house where the bodies of three children were found impaled on garden railings Picture: PA WIRE

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed the people of Suffolk will never know when triple child killer David McGreavy is released.

There was an outpouring of fury across the county following the news that McGreavy could settle in Suffolk after forming “a network of supportive friends in the community” during his time at Warren Hill Prison, near Woodbridge.

McGreavy, who will be 68 this year, was sentenced to life in 1973 for the horrific killings of Paul Ralph, four, and his sisters Dawn, two, and nine-month-old Samantha in their Worcester home.

He claimed he murdered the siblings because one of them would not stop crying.

Scenes from the triple murder investigation Picture: PA WIREScenes from the triple murder investigation Picture: PA WIRE

Paul had been strangled, Dawn was found with her throat cut, and Samantha died from a compound fracture to the skull.

McGreavy, a family friend and lodger who was 21 at the time, then impaled their bodies on spiked garden railings.

The Ministry of Justice has now confirmed it will not share the date of McGreavy’s release, citing the fact that it never comments on individual cases.

When asked if there is any typical time frame for releases, a spokeswoman said decisions tend to be made on a case by case basis.

The police tent outside the children's Worcester home Picture: PA WIREThe police tent outside the children's Worcester home Picture: PA WIRE

Fears were raised after it emerged a Parole Board panel had directed his release following an oral hearing – as he is believed to have changed “considerably”.

The Parole Board has since responded to a number of key questions posed by our team – insisting that, while it cannot comment on individual cases, it will not release dangerous people into the community until it is safe to do so.

It added that “the onus is on the offender to demonstrate they are safe for release” and criminals will be recalled to prison if they breach the “strict set of licence conditions” imposed on them as soon as they step foot into the community.

Our team also posed questions about McGreavy’s release to Therese Coffey, however the MP for Suffolk Coastal refused to comment – citing a lack of available information about the case. Her position remains the same.

Policemen outside the house in Worcester, where the bodies of the three young children were found impaled on garden railings Picture: PA WIREPolicemen outside the house in Worcester, where the bodies of the three young children were found impaled on garden railings Picture: PA WIRE

David Mortimer, mayor of Woodbridge, said at the time “it is going to be a little bit scary out there”, adding that, in his opinion, McGreavy should have been sentenced to death.

However he now says his concerns have “dissipated” – arguing that, while it is “always scary out there”, people need to have faith in the system.

“I don’t know if he has been released,” he said.

“Some people say he has, some people say he hasn’t. The fact that we have got this recent photo of him, I guess at least we can recognise him.

“Because we know what he looks like you can put a name to a face. That gives you a safety barrier.

“I still maintain that you don’t know who you are standing next to. There could be all sorts of things going through their heads.”

He added: “I think the prison service will have the common sense to put him somewhere else. He’s going to be kept an eye on – they will know where he is. You have got to have a bit of faith in the system.”

Despite feeling more relaxed about his release, Mr Mortimer said his opinion on McGreavy’s case has not changed.

“What he did was pretty heinous,” he said.

“At the end of the day, should he have a life outside the system when he’s taken three others?”

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