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Addingham dad’s plea to Minister over killer’s transfer
8:43am Thursday 31st January 2013 in News
The father of a murdered Addingham man is protesting to the Home Secretary in a bid to prevent his son’s killer returning to the area.
Tim Webster claims murderer Leroy Griffith could be allowed to make weekend visits to towns within a few miles of Ilkley in several months’ time, if he is transferred to a low-security Category D prison.
And Mr Webster fears the killer may eventually be able to challenge exclusion zone restrictions when he is released on parole, enabling him to live in the Ilkley area, near to members of the Webster family.
Mr Webster’s son, Mark, 21, was fatally stabbed by chef Griffith when he tried to intervene in an incident in the car park of an Addingham pub in April 2002.
Griffith, who denied the charge of murder, was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court later the same year, and handed a minimum tariff of 14 years in prison.
Griffith is eligible to apply for parole in 2016, when he is 51. But a victim support officer recently informed Mr Webster that Griffith is to be considered for transfer from a Category C to Category D prison.
If this goes ahead, Mr Webster was told, Griffith could soon be eligible for weekend visits to Leeds. An exclusion zone would be created to prevent him returning to the Ilkley area, but he could come as close as Yeadon. workplaces. He said: “He was the one supposed to be sentenced to life. We never forget Mark, every day I think about him.
“Why should I and my family have to keep trying to ensure he is made to live elsewhere?”
Mr Webster has also called for Griffith, originally from Barbados, to be deported.
He gained support from Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins last year, saying Griffith should not be allowed to set foot in Ilkley again.
Although the family’s views are expected to be taken into account when Griffith eventually applies for parole, Mr Webster fears Griffith may eventually be able to gain permission to live in the Ilkley area once more.
“The reality is, he is going to be back in Ilkley in five years’ time,” said Mr Webster.
The Ministry of Justice this week said it was unable to comment on individual cases.
Mr Webster says this is too close to his family’s homes and