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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April, 2005, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
Huntley 'no release' claim denied
Soham killer Ian Huntley
Ian Huntley is said to be a hate figure among fellow inmates
Claims that the content of a leaked report means Soham killer Ian Huntley will never be freed are wrong, the Home Office has said.

The Daily Mirror quoted a report from a sentencing watchdog which said Huntley should "remain incarcerated for life".

But a Home Office spokesman said a judge would decide how long Huntley, who killed schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, would stay in jail.

The Mirror said it stood by its story, which said Huntley was "unrepentant".

Huntley, 31, was jailed for life in December 2003 for murdering Holly and Jessica, both 10, at his school-owned house in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in August 2002.

He is being held at Wakefield prison, which also houses other "lifers" such as Charles Bronson and Robert Maudsley.

'Sarcastic nonchalance'

The report quoted by the Mirror was compiled by the Sentencing Planning and Review Board, which is made up of a psychologist and care and probation officers.

It reportedly concluded that Huntley's attitude to his convictions was "one of sarcastic nonchalance".

"His threats of suicide and refusal to show any remorse for the victims and their families during induction interviews... clearly show that he should remain incarcerated for life."

The Home Office refused to deny or confirm the contents of the panel's report.

Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman
Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were murdered in August 2002
But it said its role was to assess Huntley's needs rather than deciding how long he should stay in jail.

The Prison Service said all "lifers" were reviewed annually by the Sentencing Planning and Review Board.

'Life means life'

The Department for Constitutional Affairs said Lord Woolf, the Lord Chief Justice, would decide Huntley's tariff.

Huntley was not covered by rules that created a "life means life" rule for multiple murderers because Holly and Jessica were killed before the guidelines were updated.

Instead Huntley's case would be decided under "transitional arrangements".

The Mirror's report also claimed that Huntley had become a hate figure in Wakefield.

It said he had been sent a hangman's noose by inmates and has had a 100,000 price put on his head.

Roy Whiting was given a 50-year jail tariff by former Home Secretary David Blunkett for killing schoolgirl Sarah Payne.

Other "lifers" who face never being released include Bronson, dubbed Britain's most violent prisoner, and Maudsley, who ate the brains of one of two inmates he murdered in Wakefield jail in 1979.

Soham police 'ruled out Huntley'
07 Feb 05 |  Cambridgeshire


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