Life imprisonment in England and Wales

whole life tarifflife imprisonmentwhole life orderlife sentenceimprisonment for lifetariffrecommendation that he should never be releasedwhole life sentencewhole-life tariffminimum term
In England and Wales, life imprisonment is a sentence which lasts until the death of the prisoner, although in most cases the prisoner will be eligible for parole (officially termed "early release") after a fixed period set by the judge.wikipedia
205 Related Articles

Life imprisonment

life sentencelife in prisonlife
In England and Wales, life imprisonment is a sentence which lasts until the death of the prisoner, although in most cases the prisoner will be eligible for parole (officially termed "early release") after a fixed period set by the judge.
Life imprisonment (also known as imprisonment for life, life in prison, whole-life tariff, a life sentence, a life term, lifelong incarceration, life incarceration or simply life) is any sentence of imprisonment for a crime under which convicted persons are to remain in prison either for the rest of their natural life or until paroled or otherwise commuted to a fixed term.

Murder of James Bulger

James BulgerJon VenablesRobert Thompson and Jon Venables
However, in November 2000 politicians were stripped of this power in relation to defendants aged under 18, following an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights by the murderers of James Bulger.
They were sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure until a Parole Board decision in June 2001 recommended their release on a lifelong licence aged 18.

Murder

first-degree murderfirst degree murdersecond-degree murder
Murder has carried a mandatory life sentence in England and Wales since capital punishment was suspended in 1965.
Murder, under English criminal law, always carries a mandatory life sentence, but is not classified into degrees.

Peter Sutcliffe

Yorkshire RipperThe Yorkshire RipperPeter William Sutcliffe
As time passed, it came to be thought that longer sentences should be imposed, especially in cases such as the Moors Murders, the Yorkshire Ripper and Dennis Nilsen.
He is serving 20 concurrent sentences of life imprisonment, which was increased to a whole life order in 2010.

Imprisonment for public protection

Detention for public protectionimprisoned indefinitelyIndeterminate Public Protection
In addition to the sentences mentioned above, until 2012 there were two other kinds of life sentence, imprisonment for public protection (for those over 18) and detention for public protection (for those under 18).
Although there is no limit to how long prisoners can be detained under IPPs, and some may never be released, they may be released on review; an IPP sentence is not a sentence of life imprisonment with a whole-life tariff.

Harold Shipman

Dr Harold ShipmanDr. Harold ShipmanHarold Shipman inquiry
A number of other prisoners have died in prison when serving such sentences including Moors Murderers (Ian Brady and Myra Hindley) and serial killer GP Harold Shipman who committed suicide four years into his sentence. At least two such inmates have died by suicide in prison, Harold Shipman and Daniel Gonzalez, and there have been attempted suicides by such prisoners, including Ian Huntley.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment with the recommendation that he never be released.

Mandatory sentencing

mandatory minimum sentencesmandatory minimum sentencemandatory minimum
Murder has carried a mandatory life sentence in England and Wales since capital punishment was suspended in 1965.
There are currently five "starting points" for murder in England and Wales, namely: 12 years' imprisonment for cases of murder committed by a person under 18; 15 years' imprisonment for all "other" cases of murder committed by a person over 18; 25 years' imprisonment for cases of murder where a person over 18 uses a knife or other weapon at the scene; 30 years' imprisonment for cases of murder with "particularly" high aggravating factors, such as those that involve the use of a firearm or explosive, or a murder in the course of committing another offence such as robbery or burglary; and a whole life order, in cases that involve such "exceptionally" high aggravating factors, such as the murder of two or more persons, or the murder of a child following abduction or with sexual/sadistic motivation, meaning the person will never become eligible for parole.

Dennis Nilsen

Dennis Andrew NilsenDennis Nielsen
As time passed, it came to be thought that longer sentences should be imposed, especially in cases such as the Moors Murders, the Yorkshire Ripper and Dennis Nilsen.
The minimum term of 25 years' to life imprisonment to which Nilsen was sentenced in 1983 was replaced by a whole life tariff by Home Secretary Michael Howard in December 1994.

David Bieber

Killer on the Run
For example, the judge who sentenced American fugitive David Bieber for the murder of a police officer said that he should never be released from prison, whereas statutory guidelines recommended a 30-year minimum for this type of murder - this was a decade before the act was amended to include the murder of a police officer in the course of duty as one of the offenders whose life sentences should mean life.
The judge recommended that Bieber should never be released, making him only the 25th person in British legal history to be recommended for lifelong imprisonment.

List of prisoners with whole-life orders

List of prisoners with whole-life tariffsDouglas Vinterwhole-life tariff
Three convicted murderers, Jeremy Bamber, Peter Moore and Douglas Vinter, all murderers who had been sentenced to whole life orders, applied to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, for the court to declare that it is a contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights for someone to be sentenced to lifelong imprisonment.
There are now believed to be at least 75 prisoners currently serving whole life sentences in England and Wales.

Frank Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford

Lord LongfordFrank PakenhamLord Pakenham
Lord Longford and David Astor, two high-profile supporters of Hindley, backed her campaign for parole, and claimed that a succession of Home Secretaries were keeping her in prison in attempt to win votes for their respective governments, as well as shying away from an inevitable tabloid media backlash that would accompany lost votes for any government whose Home Secretary failed to block Hindley's release from prison.
In 1990, Home Secretary David Waddington ruled that "life should mean life" for Hindley, who had been told by earlier Home Secretaries and High Court judges that she would have to serve a minimum of 25 and then 30 years before being considered for parole.

Mark Hobson

Shortly after being jailed for life in 2005, spree killer Mark Hobson poured a bucket of boiling water over Ian Huntley and left him scarred for life.
Pleading guilty, he was sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment with a recommendation that he should never be released.

Jeremy Bamber

Jeremy
Three convicted murderers, Jeremy Bamber, Peter Moore and Douglas Vinter, all murderers who had been sentenced to whole life orders, applied to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, for the court to declare that it is a contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights for someone to be sentenced to lifelong imprisonment.
Bamber is serving life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Moors murders

Myra HindleyMoors murdererMoors murderers
As time passed, it came to be thought that longer sentences should be imposed, especially in cases such as the Moors Murders, the Yorkshire Ripper and Dennis Nilsen. A number of other prisoners have died in prison when serving such sentences including Moors Murderers (Ian Brady and Myra Hindley) and serial killer GP Harold Shipman who committed suicide four years into his sentence.
In his closing remarks Atkinson described the murders as "truly horrible" and the accused as "two sadistic killers of the utmost depravity"; he recommended they spend "a very long time" in prison before being considered for parole but did not stipulate a tariff.

Harry Roberts (criminal)

Harry RobertsHarry Maurice RobertsHarry Roberts (murderer)
A notable example is Harry Roberts, jailed for life in 1966 for his role in the murder of three policemen in London.
Roberts was convicted of all three murders and sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended minimum term of 30 years.

Soham murders

Ian HuntleyMaxine CarrBichard Inquiry
In England and Wales, the average life sentence prisoner serves around 15 to 20 years before being paroled, although those convicted of exceptionally grave crimes remain behind bars for considerably longer; Ian Huntley was given a minimum term of 40 years. At least two such inmates have died by suicide in prison, Harold Shipman and Daniel Gonzalez, and there have been attempted suicides by such prisoners, including Ian Huntley.
Having been declared mentally fit to stand trial, Huntley was faced with a sentence of life imprisonment if a jury could be convinced of his guilt.

Peter Moore (serial killer)

Peter Moore
Three convicted murderers, Jeremy Bamber, Peter Moore and Douglas Vinter, all murderers who had been sentenced to whole life orders, applied to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, for the court to declare that it is a contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights for someone to be sentenced to lifelong imprisonment.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment in November 1996 with a recommendation that he never be released.

David Astor

Francis David Langhorne AstorDavid
Lord Longford and David Astor, two high-profile supporters of Hindley, backed her campaign for parole, and claimed that a succession of Home Secretaries were keeping her in prison in attempt to win votes for their respective governments, as well as shying away from an inevitable tabloid media backlash that would accompany lost votes for any government whose Home Secretary failed to block Hindley's release from prison.
Along with Longford, he claimed that she was being kept in prison to serve the interests of successive Home Secretaries and their governments (who had the power to decide on minimum terms for life sentence prisoners from 1983 until 2002); these politicians gradually increased Hindley's original minimum of 25 years to 30 years and from 1990 to a whole life tariff.

Donald Neilson

Black PantherDonald NielsonDonald "Black Panther" Neilson
In 1976, Donald "Black Panther" Neilson had been convicted on four charges of murder at the end of a highly publicised trial.
The trial judge recommended that Neilson receive a whole life tariff.

Robert Maudsley

Robert Mawdsley
This was highlighted by the case of Robert Mawdsley, jailed for life for a single murder in 1975, who went on to kill three inmates several years into his sentence.
Maudsley was arrested and later sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he should never be released.

Daniel Gonzalez (spree killer)

Daniel GonzalezDaniel Gonzalez spree killings
At least two such inmates have died by suicide in prison, Harold Shipman and Daniel Gonzalez, and there have been attempted suicides by such prisoners, including Ian Huntley.
He was given six life sentences, with the trial judge recommending that he should never be released.

Arthur Hutchinson (murderer)

Arthur Hutchinson
In February 2015, the ECHR upheld the lawfulness of whole life orders, on the ground that they can be reviewed in exceptional circumstances, following a fresh challenge by murderer Arthur Hutchinson, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for a triple murder in Sheffield more than 30 years earlier.
After the conviction, the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, placed Hutchinson on the list of prisoners whose life sentences should mean life, meaning that he would probably never be released.

England

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿EnglishENG
In England and Wales, life imprisonment is a sentence which lasts until the death of the prisoner, although in most cases the prisoner will be eligible for parole (officially termed "early release") after a fixed period set by the judge.

Wales

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿WelshWAL
In England and Wales, life imprisonment is a sentence which lasts until the death of the prisoner, although in most cases the prisoner will be eligible for parole (officially termed "early release") after a fixed period set by the judge.

Parole

paroledsupervised releasenon-parole period
In England and Wales, life imprisonment is a sentence which lasts until the death of the prisoner, although in most cases the prisoner will be eligible for parole (officially termed "early release") after a fixed period set by the judge.