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Monday, July 20, 1998 Published at 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK


Hindley wins legal aid

Myra Hindley was convicted of the Moors murders in 1966

Moors murderer Myra Hindley has been granted legal aid to fight the decision by two home secretaries that she must stay in prison for the rest of her life.

A two-day Court of Appeal hearing is scheduled to begin on October 5.

BBC correspondent, Danny Shaw on the Hindley case
A spokesman for the Legal Aid Board said that all applications were subject to a merit test - and the 56-year-old child killer's had met the requirements.

He said: "There is a merit test for applications and this one meets the merit test.

"For Legal Aid to be granted there must be a reasonable case with a reasonable prospect of success.

"In this case the judgment was supported by counsel's opinion."

Leave to appeal

Hindley, who is held at Highpoint Prison in Suffolk, has so far served 32 years for the murders of Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans.

The new appeal follows the High Court decision last December that she must remain in prison.

The High Court had rejected her lawyers' argument that a provisional minimum tariff of 30 years had been unlawfully increased by Home Secretaries Michael Howard and Jack Straw.

In the 35-page High Court judgment the Lord Chief Justice Lord Bingham ruled Home Secretaries had the power to decide a life sentence will mean life.

But he did not rule out that one day Hindley could be released "in exceptional circumstances", and also gave her leave to appeal.

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