Colin Pitchfork is a double murderer and rapist (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

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Colin Pitchfork, who raped and murdered two schoolgirls in the 1980s, will be released from prison after the Parole Board rejected a Government challenge against its ruling.

Pitchfork was the first murderer to be convicted using DNA evidence after he raped and killed 15-year-olds Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in the 1980s.

On November 22 1983, Lynda Mann's body was found on a deserted footpath in Leicestershire. She had been raped and strangled by Pitchfork.

Three years later on August 2, 1986, Dawn Ashworth's body was found in a wooded area near a footpath called Ten Pound Lane in the same county. She had been beaten, savagely raped and strangled.

DNA profiling confirmed the girls had been killed by the same man.

Dawn Ashworth was raped and killed by evil Pitchfork
(Image: Mirrorpix)

In 1987, one of Pitchfork's colleagues revealed to fellow workers that he had taken a blood test while masquerading as Pitchfork who had told him he wanted to avoid being harassed by police because of prior convictions for indecent exposure.

A woman reported it to police and he was later arrested and jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years in the first conviction using DNA evidence.

Earlier this year, the Parole Board said it was satisfied Pitchfork was safe for release but the decision was challenged by the Government as the justice secretary asked for the case to be looked at again.

The Parole Board has rejected this challenge and a spokesman said in a statement: "The Parole Board has immense sympathy for the families of Dawn Ashworth and Lynda Mann and recognises the pain and anguish they have endured and continue to endure through the parole process.

Lynda Mann was raped and killed by Pitchfork in the 1980s
(Image: Mirrorpix)

"However, Parole Board panels are bound by law to assess whether a prisoner is safe to release. It has no power to alter the original sentence set down by the courts.

"Legislation dictates that a panel's decision must be solely focused on what risk a prisoner may pose on release and whether that risk can be managed in the community.

"As made clear in the reconsideration decision, release was supported by all of the Secretary of State's witnesses during Mr Pitchfork's review."

Artist's file impression of Colin Pitchfork, 48, appealing the length of his sentence at the Court of Appeal in London
(Image: PA)

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