‘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

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Two teenagers were stabbed in a knife fight in George Lane, South Woodford, last night.

A knife fight in George Lane, South Woodford, last night left two teenagers in hospital with serious stab wounds.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
The child and man were found dead in Colville Square, Notting Hill

A mother from Notting Hill has denied murdering her boyfriend and four-year-old daughter at their west London home.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Do you recognise this man? (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Detectives are looking for the man in this CCTV picture after a man was viciously attacked with a belt on Brick Lane.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
A body is removed from Picardy house on Cedar Road in Enfield (Sophie Halle-Richards/PA Wire)

A man who was shot dead by police in Enfield after allegedly wielding a firearm in a block of flats has been named as James Fox.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
The victim was attacked at a home on Shrewsbury Road (Photo: Goolge StreetView)

A murder investigation is underway after a man was killed in a fight at a home in Shrewsbury Hill yesterday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
(Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

Officers were attacked with knives, bottles and even teeth at Notting Hill Carnival yesterday - but overall, there were fewer arrests than last year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Read more
Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more