Page last updated at 13:10 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 14:10 UK

Triple killer will die in prison

Arthur Hutchinson
Hutchinson will remain in prison for the rest of his life

A convicted killer who murdered the parents and brother of a bride hours after her wedding will die in prison after a judge rejected his appeal bid.

Arthur Hutchinson was given a life sentence for stabbing to death Basil Laitner, wife Avril and son Richard at their home in Dore, Sheffield.

Reviewing the case a High Court judge ruled the 66-year-old must remain in prison for life for his 1984 crimes.

He is one a small number of UK killers with a "life means life" tariff.

Hartlepool-born Hutchinson, then 42 years old and not known to the Laitner family, committed the murders at the family home hours after they had hosted the wedding reception of their daughter Suzanne.

'Whole life'

After killing three members of the family, Hutchinson raped the Laitner's other daughter, aged 18 at the time. He was convicted of this charge at the murder trial.

At the trial the judge recommended a minimum jail term of 18 years but qualified it by saying it was "a genuine life case".

At Friday's hearing Hutchinson's solicitors argued that a "whole life" tariff violated his human rights.

But Mr Justice Tugendhat told the court he agreed with the Home Secretary's decision that Hutchinson must die in prison.

And he refused to allow the appeal to go any further.

Justice Tugendhat added: "There is no reason at all for departing from the decision of the home secretary."

At the time of the killings Hutchinson was on the run from police for another rape.


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