Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

Killer Jeremy Bamber loses High Court bid to get out of maximum security prison

Jeremy Bamber has lost a bid to bring legal action over a refusal by the prison service to downgrade him from maximum security.

The convicted killer is a category A prisoner in HM Prison Wakefield, Yorkshire where he is serving a life sentence for the murder of his adoptive parents Nevill and June, his sister Sheila Caffell, and her six-year-old twins Daniel and Nicholas at White House Farm, Essex in 1985.

He has always protested his innocence and claims Ms Caffell, who suffered from schizophrenia, shot her family before turning the gun on herself.

Bamber pursued a High Court challenge over a decision taken in March by the director of the long-term and high security estate – part of the prisons and probation service – not to downgrade him from a Category A prisoner, or to direct that an oral hearing on the issue take place.

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Category A prisoners are considered the most dangerous to the public and held in maximum security conditions.

At a remote hearing in October, lawyers for Bamber asked Mr Justice Julian Knowles to grant permission for a full hearing of Bamber's challenge, arguing that the decision was "unreasonable".

In written documents before the court, Bamber's barrister Matthew Stanbury said an independent psychologist's report, commissioned by Bamber's solicitors, concluded he had met the test for downgrading a Category A prisoner and that these conditions were "no longer necessary" for managing him.

He argued the decision not to downgrade Bamber from Category A was "unreasonable" as it "substantially misrepresented" the opinion given by the independent psychologist.

On Friday Judge Knowles denied Bamber's appeal.

The bodies of the five victims were found by police on the morning of August 7, 1985.

Investigators initially believed Sheila had committed a murder-suicide before Bamber's ex-girlfriend told police he's implicated himself.

He was convicted after the prosecution argued he'd shot the family with his father's semi-automatic rifle and tried to frame Sheila by placing it in her hands.

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