Court decision awaited on inmates’ voting ban

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Two convicted murderers will learn this week whether they have won the right to vote while in jail.

Peter Chester and George McGeoch have taken their cases to the UK Supreme Court, the highest in the land, which is set to hand down its judgment on Wednesday.

Chester, who is in his 50s, is serving life for raping and strangling his seven-year-old niece Donna Marie Gillbanks in Blackpool in 1977.

He is detained at Wakefield prison in West Yorkshire and the minimum term he was ordered to serve before becoming eligible to apply for parole has expired.

McGeoch, from Glasgow, is serving his life sentence at Dumfries prison for the 1998 murder of Eric Innes in Inverness.

He received a minimum term of 13 years, but due to subsequent convictions, including taking two prison nurses hostage in a siege in 2001, will not be considered for parole until 2015.

Chester’s challenge at the Supreme Court follows a decision by three Court of Appeal judges in December 2010 to dismiss his case.

His case centres on whether
the court should declare that
the ban preventing him from voting is “incompatible” with his rights under EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed that inmates would not be given voting rights under his administration and has said that the idea of giving prisoners the vote makes him”sick’’.