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Rapist release concerns taken up in Parliament

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 02, 2014

Keith Williams....

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CONCERNS over the release of a rapist who terrorised a South Derbyshire woman have been taken up in Parliament.

Heather Wheeler, MP for the area, raised the issue after former Swadlincote man Keith Williams was given parole last month, plunging this victim into a life of fear.

The woman, now 43, who was raped by Williams back in the 1970s, has made an official complaint about the release of her tormentor, who was allowed to go free following a hearing in May.

He had been refused parole at a hearing just months before.

Speaking to prisons minister Jeremy Wright, Mrs Wheeler said: “Can the minister tell me why during his first parole board hearing Keith Williams was denied parole and at his second hearing, armed with the same facts, he was given it?

“Is it not worrying that two different groups of people can come to completely polar opposite outcomes?”

Mr Wright told her it was not possible to reverse the decision, but said he was sympathetic to Williams’ victim, who lives in South Derbyshire. When the second board considered the application further information was available, he added.

Mrs Wheeler said she believed strongly that the second hearing, which took place after a case worker failed to deliver a victim statement, should never have happened.

She said she would pursue information about the board’s decision, adding: “My next piece of work is to write to the chairman of the parole board for clarification on the issue.”

Williams’ victim was only told of his release the day after it had happened.

She has since applied for a non-molestation order as she did not feel the licence conditions put in place following his release were enough to protect her and her family.

Williams (pictured) was given five life sentences in 1999, after being convicted of five rapes and two indecent assaults against a child during a campaign of abuse which spanned two decades.

The former landlord, now 56, would carry out the attacks in the pubs he and his family ran in areas including Swadlincote and Hartshorne.

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