‘Bermondsey Beast’ release unlikely despite appeal success

15:00 21 November 2012

Picture: PA Wire

Picture: PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A multiple rapist who terrorised elderly women in Bermondsey has had his ‘whole life’ prison term reduced to 25 years after a Court of Appeal hearing.

But a judge maintained that Michael Roberts, 46, who was jailed in January, is unlikely to ever be released from custody.

Known as the ‘Bermondsey Beast’, he raped three victims - one aged 83 - and viciously attacked a fourth.

He evaded justice for 15 years but was captured after a cold case review by Scotland Yard.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said the court was “not to be taken as implying” that Roberts was anything less than highly dangerous.

He added that “on the evidence before us at the moment it seems highly improbable that he will, after the expiry of 25 or 30 or more years, or indeed ever, be safe for release”.

He said: “It is regrettably possible to envisage, and there have been cases, where dreadful sexual assaults have been followed by murderous violence.

“The whole-life order is reserved for the most exceptional cases.

“Without suggesting that the court is prohibited from making a whole-life order unless the defendant is convicted of at least one murder, such an order will inevitably be a very rare event indeed.”

Meanwhile, the court refused to quash the whole-life order in the case of killer David Oakes, 51, of Canney Road, Steeple, who “sadistically tortured” his former partner before shooting her and their two-year-old daughter.

The panel also upheld the 30-year minimum term imposed on Kiaran Stapleton, who was jailed for life after he shot Indian student Anuj Bidve, 23, at point-blank range in Salford, Greater Manchester.

The appellants are still subject to a life sentence. Those with a minimum term can apply for parole once that has expired, but they would not be released until they are deemed to no longer pose a threat to the public.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said: “We should perhaps emphasise at the outset that each of these appellants is dangerous, and on the available evidence, likely to remain dangerous for the indefinite future.

“At present it is difficult to see how it will ever become safe for any of them to be released from custody.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Friday, February 12, 2016
Undated handout file photo issued by the Crown Prosecution Service of Tarik Hassane, one of the men accused of plotting to use a moped in a series of Islamic State-inspired drive-by shootings in London, who has dramatically changed his plea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday February 12, 2016. The first defendant, Tarik Hassane, 22, admitted conspiracy to murder and preparation of terrorist acts as the defence was about to start in the Old Bailey trial. See PA story COURTS Terror. Photo credit should read: Crown Prosecution Service/PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

A 22-year-old accused of planning to use a moped in a series of Islamic State-inspired drive-by shootings in London has dramatically changed his plea at the Old Bailey today.

Friday, February 12, 2016
Simpson-Kent was captured in Ghana after fleeing the UK following the death of his partner Sian Blake and their two children (Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire)

Sian Blake’s partner has been charged with the murders of the ex-EastEnders actress and their two children, police have said.

Friday, February 12, 2016
Police are keen to identify this man (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Police are asking south London women to be vigilant if travelling alone and on foot in the early hours, after three women were attacked within four miles of each other.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Police are investigating attempted child abductions

A man has been charged after reports that a number of schoolchildren were approached by someone impersonating a police officer in Hornsey.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Police would like to speak with this man (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A 27-year-old man was punched in the face and pummelled as he lay on the ground in a sustained and unprovoked attack at a Bloomsbury bus stop.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
The two men police want to identify

A horrifying attack in Shoreditch has left a man with a fractured skull after he was beaten with wooden stakes.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Read more
Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport