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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 September, 2004, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Prisoner loses bid to have child
A convicted killer and his wife have lost a bid to be allowed to have a baby by artificial insemination.

Kirk and Lorraine Dickson, of Beverley, east Yorkshire, married four years ago when they were both in jail after they met through a prison pen-pal scheme.

After Mrs Dickson's release, the Home Office turned down the couple's request to try for a child. The Appeal Court has refused to overturn the decision.

Kirk Dickson is serving a life sentence handed down in 1995.

He cannot apply for release for another five years, by which time his wife will be 51 and he will be 36.

Artificial insemination

Mrs Dickson already has three children from an earlier relationship.

Their barrister, Flo Krause, told the Appeal Court judges that the Home Office decision was a violation of their rights to a family and private life.

The ban on artificial insemination amounted to a "total extinction" of their right to conceive a child within marriage, she said.

But the three judges backed the Home Office policy on artificial insemination.

That policy takes into account the stability of the couple's relationship and the fact that any children they might have would be deprived of a father during the formative years while Mr Dickson serves out his sentence.

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