DCSIMG

Monster who raped and killed a child uses public funds to sue the government because they won't let him vote

A CHILD killer is using public money and human rights laws to take the Government to court over their refusal to let him vote.

Peter Chester, 54, who raped and strangled his seven-year-old niece in 1977, is seeking a judicial review of the law banning him from voting as a serving prisoner.

The lifer, housed in the country's most notorious jail in Wakefield, is fighting the test case using public money under the legal aid scheme.

But June Gillbanks, the mother of victim Donna Marie Gillbanks, and Chester's sister, has attacked the move saying he gave up his rights when he killed her beloved daughter.

Chester, who shares the jail with fellow child killer Robert Black and the infamous Charles Bronson, has applied to be on the electoral register but was refused.

He is now taking Wakefield City Council and the Government to court with his solicitor citing a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that says the UK's outright ban on prisoners is a breach of the right to free and fair elections.

But Donna's mum June Gillbanks, 56, of Blackpool, said: "I wouldn't wish my life on anybody. I don't want him to get out or vote."

Chester murdered Donna in her own bed at her home in Blackpool before placing her back under the covers as though she were asleep and put her favourite cuddly toy alongside her.

"I think he gave up the right to vote when he strangled and raped my daughter," said June. "I think prisoners have enough rights and victims very little. The scales of justice are balanced more towards murderers in my opinion."

Chester, also known as Peter Chester Speakman, has filed a claim against the council and Jack Straw, the Secretary of State for Justice.

It is to be heard in the High Court in October. Marcus Farrar, representing him, argues Chester should be able to vote as he has served the punishment part of his sentence.

In 1978 Chester was ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years but he has served 12 years above his tariff and has been repeatedly turned down for release.

Mr Farrar said: "He is not hopeful of voting in the next General Election, that won't happen. He is hopeful of voting in an election sometime."

The solicitor, who said Chester is interested in politics and policy changes, added: "I think he is saying he should get a choice in electing the people who make these decisions."

A Wakefield Council spokesman said: "We can confirm we are the second defendant in the action against the Secretary of State for Justice.

"We would point out that we are unable, because of current legislation, to allow such prisoners as the claimant to be included on the electoral register."

Last year June told of how the pain of her daughter's murder never leaves her. She said: "I was ill for a long time after it happened.

"Donna was my world. But now I've got my strength back. I'm fed up of all these innocent children getting murdered, strangled and raped.

"There have been so many since my precious Donna was taken from me and sadly there will be more in the future. It must stop now."

Chester was married and lived on Lytham Road, South Shore, when he raped and murdered Donna Marie in her own bed at the family flat in Mickleden Road in October 1977.

He pleaded not guilty to the murder at his trial in March 1978, but a jury unanimously found him guilty.

 
 
 

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