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Murder victim's family's urgent meeting with MP as killer could walk free

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Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk has agreed to meet the family of a murder victim after they learned the killer given three life sentences - and expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars - could walk free next year.

The Justice Minister agreed to meet the family after hearing the trial judge told the court that no Home Secretary would ever be likely to release Nicholas Burton who stabbed one random young woman to death and kidnapped a teenager.

An MP told Mr Chalk the family of murder victim Rachel McGrath are shocked that Burton, who was found guilty of murdering the 27-year-old, is being considered for release next year.

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Mr Chalk described it as an "appalling case" and agreed to meet with the family.

Burton stabbed Rachel to death in a car park in Bramhall, Stockport, in 1997 and hours later kidnapped a 17-year-old girl he said he had intended to murder after subjecting her to a horrific 11-hour ordeal.

Mr Justice Morland told Liverpool Crown Court in 1998 that a psychiatrist had described Burton as one of the most dangerous men she had ever come across in her career.

The BBC are reporting that Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts told the Commons that Ms McGrath's parents had been told Burton "would walk free next year".

"My constituent Michael McGrath is battling for justice for his family," said the MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd.

"His sister Rachel McGrath was murdered in a brutal stranger attack by Nicholas Burton in 1997.

"The trial judge described Burton as merciless and manipulative and recommended that no home secretary - as the arrangement was at the time - would ever be likely to allow his release.

"Rachel's elderly parents were recently told that Burton would walk free next year.

"They haven't even been able to make a victim statement and believe the correct procedure has not been followed.

"Will he agree, please, to a ministerial meeting with the family to help ensure that they have all the information they need, that their voice is heard and it is respected?"

Justice minister Alex Chalk thanked Ms Saville Roberts for raising the "extremely sensitive, distressing and, frankly, appalling" case.

He added: "Yes, of course I will be delighted to meet."

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