12/11/2014

Release Of Police Killer Described As 'Sickening'

The release of a man convicted of killing three unarmed police officers in 1966 has been described as "sickening".

Harry Roberts, now aged 78, has been released from prison after serving 48 years for 1966 murders of three unarmed police officers in Shepherd's Bush in west London.

Roberts was in a van parked near Wormwood Scrubs prison with John Duddy and John Witney – the three men had just committed an armed robbery – when officers Sgt Christopher Head (30), Det Con David Wombwell (25) and PC Geoffrey Fox (41) approached the van to ask the men why they had stopped.

Sgt Head and DC Wombwell were shot and killed by Roberts, while PC Fox was killed by John Duddy.

Roberts was convicted in relation to all three deaths and sentenced to life, with a minimum term of 30 years. He served 48.

His release has been criticised by Met Police Federation chairman John Tully, describing it as "sickening", and Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said "police officers up and down the country will be absolutely furious and disgusted" by the decision.

It is understood Mr Roberts will be closely monitored following his release and will likely spend his first months of freedom in an 'approved premises' – a hostel for released prisoners.

When asked about the release the Ministry of Justice said it did not comment on individual cases.

John Duddy and John Witney were also sentenced to life over the murders. Witney was released in 1991 after serving 25 years. He was found murdered in 1999. John Duddy is also known to have died.

(MH/CD)

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