A murderer who was brought to justice after his victim’s mother campaigned for a key change in double jeopardy laws is to face a public parole hearing.

William Dunlop strangled pizza delivery woman Julie Hogg in Billingham, County Durham, in 1989 and hid her mutilated body behind a bath panel where it lay undiscovered for more than two months.

The killer – now aged 60 – subjected his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend, who had a three-year-old son, to a violent sexual assault after she rejected him, in what prosecutors called a “premeditated and truly horrendous” attack.

Julie Hogg
Dunlop was jailed after eventually admitting killing Julie Hogg in 1989 (Cleveland Police/PA)

Parole judges will review his case on Tuesday to consider whether he is safe to be moved to a lower security jail or be released from prison. The decision will be made at a later date.

The proceedings are due to be heard in the prison where Dunlop is held while being watched by reporters and members of the public at the Royal Courts of Justice in London via a live stream.

Dunlop was tried twice for the murder but both juries failed to reach a verdict.

When later serving time behind bars for another crime, Dunlop confessed and admitted lying in court, boasting there was nothing anyone could do about it because of the double jeopardy rule in place at the time.

Miss Hogg’s mother, Ann Ming, campaigned for 15 years to get the 800-year-old law changed so that he could be charged with the same crime twice.

His case made legal history in 2006 when he became the first person to be tried under the new rules. He was convicted of murder and jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years.

Ann Ming, the mother of murdered Julie Hogg, gives a statement to the press following the sentencing of her daughter’s murderer, William Dunlop, at the Old Bailey Criminal Court in London
Miss Hogg’s mother, Ann Ming, campaigned for 15 years to get the 800-year-old law changed so that Dunlop could be charged with the same crime twice (Johnny Green/PA)

In 2022 then justice secretary Brandon Lewis blocked a bid to move Dunlop, known as Billy, to an open prison in the interests of public protection despite a parole panel recommending the plan.

Parole reviews typically take place behind closed doors but legal reforms which came into force in 2022 now allow some to be heard in public, when requested, in a bid to remove the secrecy around the process.

Last year Caroline Corby, chairwoman of the Parole Board for England and Wales, ruled Dunlop’s parole hearing could be held in public partly due to the unique legal background to the case.

She also considered the victims’ request for a public hearing, saying: “The victims feel that they have been let down in the past by the criminal justice system and they believe that a public hearing would be beneficial to them.

“The victims wish to attend a public hearing rather than a private hearing.”