Freed killer who raped boy died in Yorkshire prison

A sign at the entrance to Full Sutton Prison near to Stamford Bridge Picture: Gary Longbottom
A sign at the entrance to Full Sutton Prison near to Stamford Bridge Picture: Gary Longbottom
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A murderer who raped a boy when he was let out of jail on licence died at an East Yorkshire jail of natural causes, an inquest has concluded.

The hearing in Hull on Monday was told Stephen Ayre, 56, a prisoner at HMP Full Sutton, was diagnosed with lung cancer in July 2018 but refused treatment.

Generic pic of prison interior Picture: PA

Generic pic of prison interior Picture: PA

He died in a cell in the palliative care suite on September 15 2018.

Ayre had served 20 years of a 25-year term for the 1984 murder of Irene Hudson in Shipley when he was released in 2005.

However within ten months he went on to attack the 10-year-old boy because he “wanted to go back to jail”.

In a statement read to the inquest, his sister said she used to visit him in jail after he was jailed for Miss Hudson’s murder, but became estranged after his attack on the youngster.

The hearing was told Ayre, who was a "bit of a loner", had opted for a palliative approach after lung cancer was confirmed.

Ayre was jailed for life in March 1985 after pleading guilty to murdering Miss Hudson in Shipley in September 1984. The dressmaker had been battered 20 times around the head with a metal pipe after going into a field with Ayre to have sex.

They had known each other for two or three months and had met at Shipley's Mississippi Nightclub on the night of the murder.

Ayre told police they had gone into a field for a cuddle, but he had picked up the pipe and battered her after she laughed and pushed him into nettles as they were kissing.

After killing her, he stripped off his bloodstained shirt, and ran home, half naked, to bed.

In a statement he later told police: "I was mad. I wanted to hurt her, but not to kill her."

He was released on parole on his fifth attempt in April 2005, but attacked again within the year.

He admitted two offences of rape and further charges of abduction and a sexual offence at Bradford Crown Court in 2006.

In 2010 his “whole life” sentence was reduced to a minimum of 10 years after he successfully appealed to London’s Criminal Appeal Court.

At the time the country’s top judges stressed the chances of him ever being released were “remote in the extreme”.

The offences were described as "vile and ghastly...committed by a man who had already committed a dreadful offence of murder."