Killers who bid for freedom and boards who decided their fates

Killers behind some of the crimes which have rocked Merseyside have faced long battles to finally be freed.

Time after time the same people have appeared in front of parole boards over the years looking to be released but many have had their parole hopes dashed – while others have, eventually, found freedom.

Some, though, will die in jail – having been told they will never get parole.

We take a look back at crimes which have affected Merseyside, and who has appeared in front of the parole board over the years.

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Mark Chapman

Mark David Chapman shot former Beatle John Lennon to death in 1980

Perhaps one of the most infamous people in the world to be denied parole is John Lennon's murderer, Mark Chapman.

Mark Chapman gunned the Beatle down in cold blood in December, 1980.

Chapman shot Lennon four times in front of the musician's wife, Yoko Ono, in New York as the star was exiting his home.

He has so far been denied parole ten times and is serving a life sentence.

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In 2018, he was denied his request for release again.

The panel said it found his release "would be incompatible with the welfare and safety of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law."

Their decision said: "Your criminal history report reflects that this is your only crime of record.

"However, that does not mitigate your actions."

David McGreavy

David McGreavy was dubbed the "Monster of Worcester" after he killed three children he was babysitting.

The Southport-born killer impaled the bodies of his victims on railings and was jailed for life in 1973 for murdering the three children he was supposed to be looking after.

McGreavy killed four-year-old Paul Ralph, and his sisters Dawn, two, and Samantha, nine months after one of the children "would not stop crying"

He was one of the country's most notorious and longest-serving prisoners and was repeatedly denied parole until he was released last year.

In June 2019 he was released from prison after serving 46 years.

Mitchell Quy
Mitchell and Lynsey Quy with their children

Mitchell Quy brutally murdered his wife and the mother of his children in 1998 and led police on an 18-month search for her after claiming she had disappeared.

Quy killed his wife Lynsey as their children slept upstairs, before mutilating her body with the help of his brother Elliot.

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The pair then hid the remains around Southport.

In 2001, he was sentenced to life in prison and has twice been denied parole and therefore remains behind bars in a category A prison.

Robert John Maudsley
Robert John Maudsley pictured 20 years ago (75)

Robert John Maudsley killed four people, three of them when he was already in prison serving a life sentence for a murder in the 1970s.

Born in Speke in 1953, he earned the nickname "Hannibal the Cannibal" after allegedly eating part of the brain of one of his prison victims.

In 1977, at the age of just 24, Robert and another Broadmoor inmate David Cheeseman dragged convicted paedophile and fellow convict David Francis into a room on their ward.

The pair held Francis hostage, barricaded the door and tied him up with flex from a record player.

Over the next nine hours Robert and David Cheeseman tortured Francis before eventually garroting him.

One of Merseyside's most horrific killers, he is now more than 40 years in to his life of solitary confinement.

Peter Moore
Peter Moore

Peter Moore is now two decades in to a whole life sentence for murdering and mutilating four men "for fun".

On the surface Peter Moore was an upstanding business owner, running a chain of cinemas in North Wales – but under his veneer of respectability he was a sadistic killer who butchered his victims in a series of horrific crimes.

Dubbed the 'Man in Black' for his dark leather clothes, Peter Moore claimed four lives in a horrifying four-month spate of killings.

While Moore was from Rhyl, his victims came from across Merseyside and North Wales.

During a terrifying period in the winter of 1995, four men were murdered and mutilated after being targeted by the Nazi-obsessed killer.

Moore's reign of terror struck fear in the hearts of Merseyside's gay community, as he chose victims in gay bars and cruising spots before carrying out his sick crimes.

While he was behind bars, Moore attempted to have his "whole-life" sentence quashed on the grounds that allowing the most dangerous offenders to be kept behind bars until they die breaches their human rights.

His appeal failed, with the European Court of Human Rights ruling Britain's most dangerous murderers can remain behind bars for the rest of the lives.

Liam Smith's killers
Liam 'Smigger' Smith

A killer jailed for life as a teenager for his role in a gang shooting outside a prison has had his parole denied before.

Sean Farrell was just 15 years old when he was part of a group which ambushed Liam Smith outside Altcourse prison, in Fazakerley , Liverpool.

He and three others were found guilty of murder at Liverpool Crown Court and he was ordered to serve at least 18 years behind bars in September 2007.

Aged 25, in 2017, he tried to get his minimum term cut at the High Court, in London, arguing he has made “exceptional and unforseen progress” in prison.

But his case was dismissed by Mr Justice Langstaff who ruled he had not done enough to justify an earlier parole hearing.

Jordan Cunliffe
Jordan Cunliffe

Jordan Cunliffe was one of three teenagers jailed in 2008 for the high-profile murder of Gary Newlove, who was attacked in a Warrington street by a group he'd just reprimanded for vandalising his wife's car.

Cunliffe was 15 at the time of the offence and was anticipating his release when he was 28 at a parole hearing in December.

However, just days before the proceedings, he threw a party behind bars to celebrate his impending freedom.

Reports state there were six to eight people in his cell drinking alcohol and playing Xbox games, which led to complaints of noise.

The incident then triggered the Parole Board to reconsider their recommendation and Cunliffe's expected release was halted.

He has now been transferred from an open jail to closed conditions.