Preston mum speaks of ordeal as it emerges her son's murderers are among 70 Lancashire killers facing release this decade

"It's hard knowing they will be released because to me it's like it happened yesterday."

Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 7:22 am

Those were the words of bereaved grandmother Susan Splatt, whose son was savagely beaten and left to die in a brook.

His murderers are among almost 70 Lancashire killers set to be released onto the streets in the next decade, it can be revealed today.

A study of the newspaper archives of the Post and the Gazette back to 2000 has shown several people jailed for murder, manslaughter, and causing death by dangerous or careless driving could be released between 2020 and 2030.

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Susan Splatt with letters about her son's killers (PIC: Neil Cross)

The figure is only a ballpark one because many have already been released early. Conversely defendants who may have been given hospital orders, or indeterminate jail sentences - given to dangerous offenders with no fixed length of time before they were abolished in 2012 - may not have been released if deemed unsuitable by the Parole Board.

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Almost 70 Lancashire killers are set to be released onto the streets in the next...

Preston great grandmother Susan's life changed forever when her son David was brutally murdered 11 years ago.

David, a father-of-three, now has five grandchildren he never got to meet.

Left to right: Connor Gibson, Kieran Walmsley, Andrew Shacklady, Liam Cromie, Ashley Charles, James Majury, James Bellass, Mohmed Patel, David Bullman, Kevin Gracia, Christopher Carrington, Keith Peel, David Carroll, Michael Casey, Lauren Coyle and Reece Hitchcott.

The 35-year-old was found floating in a brook near the Grange estate in Ribbleton, Preston, in December 2009.

Michael Casey, then 19, David Carroll, then 21, and Keith Peel then 27, had befriended him in a Lancashire pub, before later turning on him and beating him to death.

They were convicted of his murder,and the minimum term of theis life sentences means they could potentially be released in 2026.

Susan, 65, of Derry Road, Ribbleton, said: " I had to fight for one letter a year to tell me what was happening with David's killers.

Susan Splatt is dreading the release of her son's killers (PIC: Neil Cross)

"The authorities said at first we were entitled to know and be kept informed about them, but all I've had is a one liner every year, every time saying the same thing, just the date they are due to be released. There's no information about how they are responding in prison, or if they have been rehabilitated.

"I want to know what is happening to them inside.

"I dread it, because Casey's mum still lives up the road from where I am on a different estate so for all I know he's going to be coming back to see his mum. He shouldn't be allowed to come back to Preston.

"It's been 11 years and it's as if people think I should have got over it but I'll never get over it. I live that day over and over, what they did to him.

David Splatt with his mum, Susan

"It's so raw, no matter how long it is you never, ever get over it.

"Families are promised lots of things but we have had no support whatsoever. If you want help you have to look for it, it isn't really offered and it's not easy to get.

"I've never had any counselling. If it was there when I needed it I would have taken it."

The Parole Board, an independent body sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, has around 200 tasked with determining if an offender can be released into the community safely.

Decisions are made by a panel of typically three members, but the board is only involved in the release of certain offenders - the early release of prisoners serving fixed length sentences of four years or more, those serving life sentences or indeterminate sentences for public protection, and the release of prisoners who had been released from life or indeterminate sentences but were then re-imprisoned.

Criminals handed life sentences do not usually spend it all in jail.

A judge will set a minimum term or tariff to be spent in prison before becoming eligible to apply for parole.

They remain subject to licence conditions for the rest of their lives, meaning they can be recalled to prison if they break them.

The panel will consider a combination of documentary evidence, such as victim impact statements, what they hear at in person meetings, such as the impact and nature of the crime, the inmate's behaviour since they have been in jail, and factual information about accommodation on release in order to make their decision.

Their options include release, transfer to open conditions, no direction to release, or they could defer their decision.

The Parole Board operates independently but there have been calls for the process to be more open and transparent.

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