The independent London newspaper

Your story about the prisoner released after 43 years upset and appalled me

10 May, 2018

John Massey, who spent 43 years in prison after being convicted of the 1975 murder of pub doorman Charlie Higgins

• I’M appalled and upset at the front page, headline and further double-page, given over to the release of a man after 43 years from prison for committing murder, (Freed after 43 years in prison cell, May 3).

I am a firm believer that doing one’s time should allow someone a chance for a fresh start, but to laud and applaud a man who committed murder as though he were Nelson Mandela (“Freed after 43 years in prison”), where there is no miscarriage of justice or the like, is not just terrible journalism, it’s utterly disrespectful to the family of the murdered man, and to all victims of crime, particularly a crime as serious as this. I am gobsmacked.

He was not eligible for early release because he broke out of prison. How do you think your readers might feel with a convicted murderer on the streets? What about the family of the murdered man, knowing he was free? He was denied parole to visit his mother – why was that? What about the murdered man’s family’s feelings?

You give a small quote over to his poor son, who says very clearly that John Massey’s remorse has come too late in the day. This implies he showed little or no remorse over the course of his prison sentence. How are you expecting your readers to feel about this?

Please issue an immediate apology to the family of the murdered man and to other victims of crime who might have been adversely affected by your very poor decision to run this story.



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