A ‘PSYCHOPATHIC’ serial rapist branded “every woman’s worst nightmare” has launched a High Court battle to be moved to a less secure prison.
Andrew Longmire, aged 54, was given a life sentence at Sheffield Crown Court last year after he admitted raping a woman in front of her three-year-old daughter in her own home in Sharrow in 1981.
The sentence was added to 11 life terms Longmire was already serving in a high security prison for a series of sickening sex attacks in the Manchester area in the 1980s.
Now, less than a year after his most recent conviction, Longmire has launched a bid to have his prison security status downgraded.
His lawyers claim it was “unreasonable” for the prison authorities to reject his application for a downgrade without hearing oral evidence.
Longmire carried out a campaign of terror against young women in Greater Manchester in the 1980s, before going on the run.
He was finally caught and jailed for life at Manchester Crown Court in 1988 for 11 rapes, three attempted rapes and firearms offences.
He admitted the further rape at Sheffield Crown Court last year after police “cold case” reviewers used DNA evidence to close the book on another of his crimes.
He was snared after his DNA, which was on the national database for other offences, was matched with a sample he left behind when he sneaked into his Sheffield victim’s home and raped the 26-year-old housewife in front of her young child daughter.
South Yorkshire Police’s cold case review team was reviewing unsolved sex attacks when the match was found.
Longmire became eligible for parole from prison two years before the match was discovered, so when his DNA was linked with the Sheffield rape the cold case review team pressed for him to be prosecuted.
When he raped his Sheffield victim he was wearing a mask and carrying a foot-long screwdriver.
Longmire applied to be downgraded last year but was turned down after he was deemed to still be a danger.
But at judicial review proceedings brought before London’s High Court, his lawyers claimed the decision was “unreasonable”, and Longmire should have been given a full oral hearing to show the progress he had made.
They called for the decision to be quashed and Longmire - who wants to be downgraded from his current Category A high security status - to be allowed an oral hearing later this year.
Mr Justice Nicol reserved judgement. His decision will be given later in the year.