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Thursday, December 18, 1997 Published at 06:19 GMT


Murderer says Hindley treatment 'unjust'

In a letter from her prison cell, the convicted murderer, Rosemary West, suggests public opinion has influenced the legal decisions in the Myra Hindley case. West wrote to the BBC's Home Affairs Correspondent Peter Gould saying the treatment of the moors murderer is intolerable and unjust. This is the full unedited text of her letter:

"To start with, I would like to say that I think it was very wrong of Jack Straw (the Home Secretary) to announce my tariff the way he did, considering that I am and always have, protested my innocence and the small fact of our application to the European Courts yet to be heard!

"To be quite honest I couldn't see the need for his hurry!! Or was this a deliberate move designed to influence the outcome of our application to Europe?!!

"When I was told of my tariff I was handed a letter and later was handed another. I haven't a clue just what they did say and unfortunately I no longer have them.

"You may be wondering why? Well - firstly I have no interest in what tariff I receive because considering I AM INNOCENT OF MURDER - whatever sentence I were to receive would be VERY WRONG INDEED!!

"Secondly, if I am to accept a 'natural life' sentence, then I have absolutely NO interest whatsover in what the Home Office has to say about it! 'Whole life' is 'whole life' and I don't expect false promises, or maybe we'll review it later or 'might' consider parole when the time comes.

"What is being done to Myra Hindley, I find intolerable!

"What kind of law is it that can sentence someone three times!! All in the name of public opinion!

"What has that got to do with justice?!! Don't misunderstand me, I have no affinity with Myra Hindley whatsoever as I'm sure I did explain to you before. I just feel that her case is so unjust.

"For myself I wouldn't want false hope, if it is to be my misfortune to die inprison then that's the way I would need to deal with it!

"And thirdly I would like to say this - I believe that ANYONE who was capable of committing such horrific crimes as those of which I stand convicted, then they should NEVER be released from prison!!

"I know it might sound off coming from someone who is facing such a dilemma, BUT, I believe such a 'person' would be very sick indeed (as I know Fred West was and if he hadn't of (sic) been allowed to escape justice the way he did, the fact would off (sic) become increasingly obvious as his time in custody lengthened!) and therefore would ALWAYS need constant supervision.

"And lastly, to be honest, I find even the mention of my tariff most unpalatable, for two reasons.

"Firstly because I feel that although I am protesting my innocence, no-one really gives a damn and just presumes that I will never be able to prove it (this, we believe we did do at trial, but no-one was listening!) and talks although I have already accepted my fate!!

"I HAVEN'T!! And I NEVER will! This is a terrifying 'miscarriage of justice'!!!

"And secondly, would anyone want to discuss a 'natural life' sentence at the very early stages of it?! Just what is all the rush?!?!

"I'm sorry, I'm afraid my solicitor has advised me not to discuss our case in Europe with anyone for the time being. I hope you will understand!

"Yours sincerely,

"Mrs R. West (signed)"

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