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Devil's Disciple serial killer Patrick Mackay fails in 12th bid for parole - not fit for release

A "DEVIL'S Disciple'" serial killer who once admitted to 11 killings has been told he cannot be released from an open prison yet.

Patrick Mackay, 70, (above) was considered for release after a Parole hearing that began on April 12.

He has spent 47 years in prison for three killings, but previously admitted to eight more, which he later retracted.

On 21 November 1975, Mr Mackay received life sentences for three manslaughter offences, due to diminished responsibility, and robberies - and is the country's longest serving prisoner.

The Kent killer split Catholic priest Anthony Crean's head in half with an axe in March 1975,

Mackay's first identified victim was widow Isabella Griffith, 87, who he befriended before strangling and stabbing at her Chelsea home in 1974.

Adele Price was killed at her home in Kensington 13 months later.

He then split Catholic priest Anthony Crean's head in half with an axe in March 1975 with the 63-year-old's body left in a bath of bloody water.

This was Mackay’s twelfth review by the Parole Board following the end of his initial minimum period (set by the court at twenty years) which expired in March 1995.

The Parole Board’s regular reviews have meant that he has spent an additional twenty-eight years in prison for the protection of the public.

Mackay, who has been in an open prison since 2017, gave evidence to the hearing and argued that he should be released.

A summary of the Parole Board decision said: "At the hearing, the panel took oral evidence from Mr Mackay’s probation officer based in the community; the official supervising his case in prison; and two psychologists employed by the prison

service. The panel had the benefit of victim personal statements which clearly conveyed the impact of Mr Mackay’s crimes and the consequences of his offending. The contents were given careful consideration by the panel members.

"Having considered the index offences, relevant patterns of previous offending and the other evidence before it, the panel listed as risk factors those influences which made it more likely that Mr Mackay would reoffend.

"At the time of his offending, these risk factors had included his willingness to exert sadistic violence and to use weapons. Mr Mackay had had to manage aspects of his personality which had affected how well he understood other people and his effect on them. He had experienced difficulties in forming relationships and had misused alcohol and (at one stage) drugs. He also had difficulties in managing extremes of emotion, including feelings of rage. Mr Mackay had not maintained regular employment at the time."

Evidence was presented at the hearing regarding Mr Mackay’s progress and custodial conduct during this sentence.

He had participated in an intensive regime to help people understand and deal with their problems but he had not completed

the programme.

Instead, he had worked one-to-one with a prison psychologist.

After one unsuccessful transfer to open conditions, Mr Mackay was later recommended for return to open prison.

The summary added: "He has undertaken temporary releases from custody and has undertaken a training course which prepares participants for life in the community. His behaviour in prison had been generally good, apart from a short period when drugs became a concern.

"Witnesses were agreed that Mr Mackay was not yet ready for safe release to the community.

"The panel examined the release plan provided by Mr Mackay’s probation officer and weighed its proposals against assessed risks. The plan included a requirement to reside in designated accommodation as well as strict limitations on Mr Mackay’s

contacts, movements and activities. His probation officer described these proposals as robust but advised that some details of support and progression needed further development. The panel concluded this plan was not yet ready to safely manage Mr Mackay in the community at this stage.

"After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the other evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was not satisfied that Mr Mackay was suitable for release.

Further progress was needed as part of what witnesses described as a slow, supported process towards release. The panel considered that further testing in open conditions would provide a fundamental contribution to this long-term planning.

Mr Mackay will be eligible for another parole review in due course."

Mackay was born in 1952 and raised in an abusive household where he was regularly beaten by his alcoholic father before starting criminal acts including arson, animal cruelty, and thefts.

He was identified as having psychopathic tendencies and sectioned aged 16, but released after four years when he developed a fascination with Nazism and Satanism.

Mackay's fingerprints were taken after his arrest for the priest's murder and matched those from the scene of Mrs Price's murder.

He initially confessed to the three killings, but later told police he had killed eight more dating back to 1973 - many were unsolved murders.

He withdrew the eight others before trial.

He was charged with five counts of murder, but was convicted of three manslaughter with the killings of Frank Goodman and Mary Hynes left to lie on file due to insufficient evidence.


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