Meanwhile, parents need to be really careful who they leave their children with. The story narrated below is so macabre that the mind boggles. The crime was carried out in 1973 and the perpetrator was duly charged and and sent to jail for life. The killer has now requested to be allowed into the general prison population while pleading that his identity be kept hidden as he is in fear of losing his life. Is it not an irony that most people cannot stand to be on the receiving end of the same treatment they mete out to others? Well, the judge denied him that request.
- David McGreavy murdered three children he was babysitting in 1973
- Child killer requested anonymity saying he feared his life was in danger
- Wanted to keep identity a secret after he asked to be moved to open prison
- McGreavy’s lawyer argued he should be protected under Human Rights Act
- He is currently living in closed conditions in a vulnerable prisoners’ unit
A triple-child killer dubbed the Monster of Worcester has today lost his High Court battle to remain anonymous.
Murderer David McGreavy, now 62, used Labour’s Human Rights Act to ask for a gagging order to be enforced that would prevent MailOnline from naming him.
But in a victory for the Daily Mail and Press freedom we can now reveal details of McGreavy’s request to be moved to an open prison – one step from being free on our streets.
He is considered to be one of the UK’s most notorious and longest-serving prisoners after killing Paul Ralph, four, and his sisters Dawn, two, and nine-month-old Samantha in 1973.
The Mail led the legal challenge against the anonymity order – which would have kept the public entirely in the dark about the monster’s bid for freedom.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling supported the Mail’s challenge. Today he said: ‘I welcome the Court’s decision. This is a clear victory for open justice.
‘The public has every right to know when serious offenders are taking legal action on matters which relate to their imprisonment.’
Counsell Guy Vassall-Adams told the court that ‘the full facts are exceptionally horrific by even the standard of murders.’
The order restricted the media to saying they were ‘three sadistic murders – but that doesn’t even give you the half of it’, said Mr Vassall-Adams.
Mr Vassall-Adams told the judges McGreavy’s lawyers were arguing the case was about ‘whether the media should be allowed to imperil (McGreavy’s) life or scupper his chances of rehabilitation’.
He said those arguments really applied to a different type of case in which individuals – like Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who killed James Bulger – were provided with a new identity and there were injunctions against the media aimed at protecting them from being attacked while living in the community.
‘The injunction protects confidential information, which is the new identities. It doesn’t prevent the media reporting what is already public,’ said Mr Vassall-Adams.
McGreavy had already been in prison 40 years serving multiple life sentences and there was no imminent prospect of him being released – ‘furthermore his identity has not only been public but received massive previous publicity’.
Anyone interested in finding out about his crimes could do so by a click of a button on the internet, Mr Vassall-Adams said.
HOW THE MONSTER OF WORCESTER SHOCKED THE NATION
The sheer brutality of the murders carried out by David McGreavy shocked and horrified the nation.
To this day, 40 years on, his crimes remain some of the most horrific of modern day killings.
McGreavy murdered three children in Gillam Street, Rainbow Hill, Worcester, then impaled their bodies on railings.
The youngsters – Paul Ralph, four, and his sisters Dawn, two, and nine-month-old Samantha were all killed in different ways.
When nine-month-old Samantha Ralph began crying for her bottle, he strangled her.
He cut the throat of her sister, Dawn, two, before strangling her four-year-old brother, Paul.
He then impaled them on the spikes of a neighbour’s metal fence.
They were the children of Dorothy Urry, who now lives in Andover, Hampshire.
McGreavy, who was lodging with the tots’ parents, was babysitting in April 1973 when he carried out the killings, earning him the title Monster of Worcester.
He was jailed for life for the children’s murders in 1973.
Not allowing the nature of his victims to be identified ‘masked’ what the case was about, which was the Parole Board’s refusal to recommend that he was fit for open conditions.
‘Understanding the nature of the victims and the terrible treatment meted out to them gives a completely different complexion to this whole case,’ Mr Vassall-Adams said.
Today Lord Justice Pitchford, sitting in London with Mr Justice Simon, ruled the anonymity order must be discharged.
The judge said that the course adopted by McGreavy’s legal advisers when applying for anonymity was ‘wrong’. Lord Justice Pitchford said: ‘This has been frankly accepted by them.’
The ruling was a victory for the Justice Secretary who argued that the order was legally flawed and wrongly prevented the public from knowing the full facts of the case.
Mr Vassall-Adams had told the judges that even ‘the nature of the victims’ could not be publicised.
The High Court heard McGreavy has now served 18 years in excess of his 20-year tariff – the minimum term he had to serve to meet the demands of retribution and deterrence. Post-tariff, it is for the Parole Board to deem whether it is safe to release him.
But it has become clear that publicity surrounding the so-called ‘Monster of Worcester’ is affecting the parole process and is a key reason, along with fears for his safety, why a cloak of anonymity was first thrown round McGreavy as long ago as 2009.
His counsel Quincy Whitaker told the court that naming him would put him in danger from other prison inmates and he had already been the victim of a serious assault.
He had previously spent two years in an open prison until ‘hostile media coverage’ led to him being returned to closed conditions ‘for his own safety’.
Ms Whitaker said the triple killings were ‘notorious’, but no concerns had been subsequently raised about his behaviour.
There were ‘more than reasonable grounds’ for believing that a fair parole hearing could mean him being returned to open conditions, which was a pre-requisite for release from custody.
McGreavy was first transferred to category D open conditions as long ago as 1994, but the transfer to Leyhill Prison in south Gloucestershire broke down after other inmates learned of his offence.
He was subsequently returned to Category C closed prison conditions, though he retained Category D status.
Since then he has launched a series of bids to win parole. In February 2009 he unsuccessfully challenged the Home Secretary’s decision that he must remain in Category C conditions while undertaking further assessments and work.
The 2009 bid was rejected by Mr Justice Silber – but it was during that case that the judge made the anonymity order that has shielded his identity until today.
McGreavy is currently living in closed conditions in a vulnerable prisoners’ unit.
Lord Justice Pitchford described in his ruling how McGreavy was the victim of a serious assault in 1975, and then again in 1996, while serving his sentence within the general prison population.
An attempt was made by several prisoners to attack him in May 1995 while he was in an open prison but the attempt was thwarted.
In January 1991 his cell was fouled when he had been back in closed conditions for only four days.
He was threatened with violence in 1978 and 1994.
The judge said: ‘Threats of violence or a risk of violence appeared to have been precipitated by press reports in 1994, 1996 and 2005.
‘On only one of those occasions was an assault committed.’
Culled from dailymail.co.uk