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Julie's killer to be freed

Website: Northampton Chronicle and Echo
Date: 23/02/2007
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A "DEVIOUS" sex killer who murdered a defenceless Jesus Army follower from Northamptonshire by giving her an overdose of anti-depressants could be released on licence next year, a judge has ruled.

The man was handed a life sentence in 1995 for the murder of 27-year-old Julie Clayton of Pattishall, near Towcester. he had given Miss Clayton an overdose of tablets "to ingest for a sexual motive", Mr Justice David Clarke said yesterday.

After reviewing the case at London's Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Justice Clarke ruled the man could ask the Parole Board to free him in August next year after having served a minimum jail tariff of 14 years.

During the man's trial, Nottingham Crown Court heard the defendant was a dangerous fantasist obsessed with the idea of getting a compliant young women on a board a yacht to satisfy his sexual cravings.

The trial judge said the man was "utterly selfish, particularly in his attitude to women", adding far from showing remorse for Miss Clayton's murder the drifter had "smiled at inappropriate places" during the hearings.

Setting his tariff yesterday, Mr Justice Clarke said he had reduced the man's minimum term by a year to reflect his extremely poor state of health.

The 58-year-old suffers from a range of medical problems, including severe and chronic kidney disease and is registered blind, as a result of diabetes.

The judge added he had considered the "extremely serious nature" of the murder, saying were the man sentenced today the starting point for fixing his minimum term would have been 30 years.

However, he ruled a 14-year tariff "meets the overall justice of this most unusual case".

Once the man's tariff expires in August next year, he will only be freed if he can persuade the Parole Board he poses no serious public threat.

He will also remain on perpetual "life licence", subject to prison recall if he puts a foot wrong.