Page last updated at 19:30 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

Killer's whole life term reduced

A double rapist who murdered a teenager has had his whole life sentence overturned by a High Court judge.

Anthony Entwistle, 59, was jailed for life at Preston Crown Court in March 1988 for the murder of Michelle Calvy.

The "whole life" tariff, which was later set by the Home Secretary, put him among the list of Britain's prisoners who will never be released.

Mr Justice Davis imposed a new minimum of 25 years, but stressed he still may not be released after that time.

Multiple offender

"He can only be released if ever - and it may be never - he is assessed as no longer a danger to the public," he said.

Entwistle abducted 16-year-old Michelle, from Blackburn, while she was walking along a canal. He then strangled her in the course of raping her.

The offence was committed within a few weeks of his release from a 10-year sentence for rape.

He had earlier been sentenced to seven years for two similar offences.

Mr Justice Davis said: "The question of dangerousness, and whether it can ever be safe to release the applicant, is a matter for the parole board in considering whether or not to release the applicant on licence.

"As at present advised, I share the concerns previously expressed that it may never be safe to release the applicant.

"Nevertheless, for the purposes solely of retribution and deterrence, I do not think it right that a whole life tariff be imposed.

"In all the circumstances I specify the minimum term which the applicant must serve before he may be considered for release as one of 25 years' imprisonment."

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