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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
Head killer wins human rights bid
Learco Chindamo
Chindamo murdered Philip Lawrence outside his school gates
A man who stabbed to death head teacher Philip Lawrence 11 years ago is to be allowed to fight a decision to move him from an open prison to a regular jail.

Lawyers for Learco Chindamo, who has an Italian passport, say he has fallen victim to a Home Office crackdown on foreign criminals.

The High Court has ruled he can challenge the measure claiming it breaches his human rights.

Chindamo, 25, stabbed Mr Lawrence, who was trying to protect a pupil.

Killed at gates

The popular head teacher was killed outside the gates of his school - St George's Roman Catholic comprehensive, in Maida Vale, in 1995.

Chindamo was only 15 at the time and a member of a gang which aspired to be a junior equivalent of the Triads.

He was jailed for life and told he would have to serve at least 12 years.

Philip Lawrence
Philip Lawrence died protecting a pupil

Last August he was transferred to Ford open prison in West Sussex and in February it emerged he had been let out of jail for a day to prepare for his release.

But in May he was returned to closed conditions at Blakenhurst prison in Redditch, Worcs.

His lawyers argued the decision was made because he holds an Italian passport as a result of his father's nationality, although his home is in the UK.

His counsel Flo Krause called the decision a "political point scoring response" to the recent furore over the Home Office failure to deport foreign criminals released from prison on licence.

Mr Justice Mitting said: "It is arguable that there was no rational justification for the decision of the Secretary of State."

It is believed that up to 400 other jailed foreigners could be affected by the ruling.


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