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Triple murderer will ‘never be released’
8:00am Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
A relative of a triple murderer currently appealing against his life sentence says he has been told he will never be released.
Arthur Hutchinson, now 73, has become the first Briton to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights over his “whole life” tariff, handed down for his murders in 1983 of a Sheffield couple and one of their sons, and for the brutal rape of a woman.
But his half brother, Dino Reardon, has told the Craven Herald he has been assured by police that Hutchinson will never be released from prison.
Mr Reardon, of The Grove, Skipton, added he would be frightened for his own safety if Hutchinson, who he claims once threatened to shoot him, was ever released.
“He was a real wrong ’un, a real criminal and a coward, and if he does ever get out, I will have to watch my back. But the police were here a couple of months ago from Sheffield and told me he’d never get out. I will just have to hope they’re right,” said Mr Reardon, who has never visited his half-brother in prison.
Hutchinson, who lived in Skipton as a young man, was on the run from the police in Selby for rape when he knifed solicitor Basil Laitner, his wife, Avril, and son Richard in October, 1983, at their home in Dore, Sheffield.
The couple had attended the wedding of their daughter when Hutchinson broke into their home, murdered them and repeatedly raped a young woman.
Hutchinson had already spent several years in prison for the attempted murder of his brother-in-law.
He went into hiding following the Laitner murders, adopting disguises and adopting the name of “The Fox” before finally being captured by police in woods near Hartlepool. Mr Reardon, who shares the same mother as Hutchinson, said he had tried to help his half brother, but he had repaid him by threatening to shoot him.
“I was told he was living on a gypsy encampment and I went to find him and was later told he was hiding behind the door all the time, frightened to death. He was a real coward, but a real criminal, and had to pay for what he did,” he said.
The judge at Hutchinson’s original trial in 1984 at Sheffield Crown Court ruled he should serve at least 18 years, but the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, upped it to a ‘whole life’ tariff.
An appeal by Hutchinson to the High Court was overturned by a judge who ruled there was “no reason at all” to disagree with the Home Secretary’s decision.
Justice secretary Chris Grayling has criticised the ruling made in July by the European court that whole life tariffs were a breach of human rights, opening the way to Hutchinson’s appeal.
A spokesman for the Laitner family has said Hutchinson continues to create fear and loathing to family members and that the family is confident that justice will be done.