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Last Updated: Friday, 30 January, 2004, 10:50 GMT
Killer loses in manuscript battle
Serial killer Dennis Nilsen in 1983
Nilsen had his manuscript intercepted in 2001
Serial killer Dennis Nilsen will not be allowed to appeal against a High Court ruling stopping him from completing his autobiography.

Nilsen's plea for a judicial review was rejected last month.

Mr Justice Maurice Kay rejected an argument by Nilsen's lawyers for the case to be heard in the appeal courts.

Nilsen had been trying to retrieve his partially-completed manuscript from prison authorities.

He was battling to overturn the refusals of Home Secretary David Blunkett and the governor of Full Sutton Prison, near York, to return it.

His lawyer Alison Foster QC had argued that the Court of Appeal should now consider his case because there had been no recorded precedents relating to freedom of expression under European human rights laws.

I am unimpressed by the suggestion that anyone can choose not to read whatever may be published
Mr Justice Maurice Kay in last month's ruling
The book, entitled Nilsen: History of a Drowning Man, was intercepted by staff at Full Sutton in 2001.

They refused to return it unless they could make sure it contained nothing objectionable under a Prison Service law on prisoner communications.

In his ruling last month, the judge said the secretary of state was "entitled to have regard to the likely effect of publication on members of the public, including survivors and the families of victims of Mr Nilsen's serial offences".

He added: "I am unimpressed by the suggestion that anyone can choose not to read whatever may be published."

Nilsen, 57, admitted killing 15 young men at his north London home and was jailed for life in 1983.

He was sentenced with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 25 years for six counts of murder and two of attempted murder.

He was later made the subject of a "whole life" tariff.

Nilsen still has the right to challenge Friday's latest ruling by applying to the Court of Appeal for leave to challenge the judge's decision.

Killer loses manuscript battle
19 Dec 03  |  England


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