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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 November, 2004, 12:11 GMT
Nilsen fails in autobiography bid
Serial killer Dennis Nilsen in 1983
Nilsen butchered at least 15 young men
Serial killer Dennis Nilsen has failed in a second attempt to overturn a decision which denied him the right to continue writing his autobiography.

The Court of Appeal dismissed his challenge against the refusal of the Home Secretary to allow him access to his 400-page manuscript.

Nilsen, jailed for crimes in London and an inmate at Full Sutton Prison, York, claimed his human rights were breached.

Judges said the script "glorifies the pleasure that his crime caused him."

Nilsen, 57, was jailed in 1983 after he admitted killing 15 young men, most of them homeless homosexuals, at his north London home.

Restrict inmates

The court heard how the typescript was currently being held by Nilsen's solicitors so that he could not prepare it for publication.

The appeal judges said: "We do not believe that any penal system could readily contemplate a regime in which a rapist or murderer would be permitted to publish an article glorifying in the pleasure that his crime had caused him."

Under powers given by the Prison Act, the governor of Full Sutton Prison is able to restrict inmates from publishing such material.

At a High Court hearing last year, Mr Blunkett decided Nilsen's work did not consist of serious comment about crime, justice or the penal system, but was "a platform for Mr Nilsen to seek to justify his conduct and denigrate people he dislikes"

Public outrage

Nilsen's lawyers had pointed out that a book by Brian Masters called Killing For Company, containing graphic details of Nilsen's crimes, had been published in 1985.

But Lord Phillips said that fact was "not likely to do much to diminish the public outrage that will be felt if the Prison Service permits Mr Nilsen himself to publish his own account".

In 1983, it was recommended that Nilsen, a former policeman, serve at least 25-years on six counts of murder and two of attempted murder.

Killer loses manuscript battle
19 Dec 03 |  England

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