§ Mr. Butcher
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convicted murderers have committed further murders after being released from a prison sentence for that offence; and how many people have been murdered by such ex-prisoners since 1965.
§ Mr. John Patten
Information on the number of persons convicted of murder who had previous murder convictions is published annually in Criminal Statistics, England and Wales—table 4.10 of the latest issue, for 1989, Cm. 1322—copies of which are available in the Library.
During the period from 1946 to 1989, 10 persons in England and Wales were convicted of a second murder after previously being convicted of murder and being released on life licence. In addition, one person was convicted of murder in England and Wales, released, and was then convicted of a second murder in Scotland and one person was convicted of murder in England and Wales, released, and was then convicted of a murder in prison in Northern Ireland.
Since the abolition of the death penalty in 1965, there have been eight persons in England and Wales who have been murdered by persons previously convicted of murder. Of those previous murder convictions, four were committed before abolition of the death penalty; only one of the others might have attracted the death penalty under the terms of the Homicide Act 1957. In addition, one person was murdered in Scotland by a person who had previously been convicted of murder in England and Wales, and one person was murdered in Northern Ireland by a person who had previously been convicted of murder in England and Wales.