Family heartache as Joanne Nelson's killer Paul Dyson moved to open prison

Joanne Nelson was murdered by her fiance Paul Dyson on Valentine's Day 2005.
Joanne Nelson was murdered by her fiance Paul Dyson on Valentine's Day 2005.
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The sister of a Yorkshire woman murdered by her fiancé on Valentine's Day has described the Parole Board's decision to move her killer to an open prison as "unfair and unjust".

Paul Dyson strangled Joanne Nelson, 22, at the home they shared in Hull on February 14, 2005, after an argument about housework.

Joanne Nelson was murdered by her fiance Paul Dyson on Valentine's Day 2005.

Joanne Nelson was murdered by her fiance Paul Dyson on Valentine's Day 2005.

The nightclub bouncer then drove over 100 miles and buried her in an unmarked grave in woods in Brandsby, North Yorkshire, before reporting her missing to police. He claimed he had given her a Valentine's Day card that morning, before leaving her in bed so she could have an extra hours sleep while he went to work. He said he had returned home that night, found her car unlocked and reported her missing to police.

Joanne's disappearance sparked a huge police search, which involved hundreds of officers and volunteers.

Her body was found six weeks later on March 24, wrapped in bin liners which Dyson had been captured calmly buying on CCTV footage at the shop across from the home they shared.

During the search for Joanne, Dyson made a TV appeal for help in finding her, but it was this appeal that led to him being caught by police after Detective Superintendent Ray Higgins found his attention drawn to Dyson's hands. He spotted two crescent-shaped cuts on Dyson’s thumbs. The tiny marks were textbook throttling injuries, self-inflicted during the act of strangulation.

KILLER: Paul Dyson

KILLER: Paul Dyson

Read more: Joanne: Police chief finds body in woodland

Dyson, now 45, was eventually convicted of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment at Hull Crown Court in November 2005. He was told he must serve he must serve at least 16 years in prison before being eligible for parole.

However, Joanne's family were horrified to find out he has now been allowed to move to an open prison after 14 years.

Joanne's sister Katie Nelson, 33, said: "This man took my beautiful sister's life, thus completely destroying my parents and my family's life.

KILLER: Paul Dyson

KILLER: Paul Dyson

"After serving only 14 out of his 16 year prison sentence he has been granted parole into an open prison for the remaining two years.

"An open prison is exactly that. He can come and go as he pleases, become employed and try to start a new life.

"This is a totally unfair and unjust decision.

Read more: Valentine's Day killer is jailed for life

"I want this monster's face sharing as far and wide as possible."

The family had to relive the nightmare of Joanne's murder when they were asked to send a statement to the Parole Board regarding Dyson's move.

Following the decision to move the killer, Miss Nelson said they have asked for an exclusion zone to prisons near where they have family, but have yet to hear anything back.

The Parole Board said Dyson's hearing was a "pre-tariff review" which can be held up to three years before the minimum term of imprisonment - the 16 years Dyson was ordered to serve - expires.

The Secretary of State will only refer pre-tariff cases to the Parole Board where there is a reasonable prospect of the board making a positive recommendation.

A spokesman for the Parole Board said: "The Parole Board has made a recommendation to the Ministry of Justice for Paul Dyson to move to an open conditions prison, after an oral hearing in October 2019."