Killers who struck in South Yorkshire who will spend the rest of their lives locked up

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A man who has killed three elderly women – including two sisters in Rotherham – could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Lawrence Bierton, aged 61, of Rayton Spur, Kilton, Worksop, killed his 73-year-old neighbour Pauline Quinn in November last year.

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He was jailed for life in 1996 for the murders of sisters Aileen Dudill, 79 and Elsie Gregory, 72, in a burglary at their home in Herringthorpe Valley Road, Rotherham, but he was freed in 2020 and moved to the same street as his latest victim.

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Arthur Hutchinson (left), Ian Birley (top right) and Anthony Arkwright (bottom right) are all serving whole life orders for murderArthur Hutchinson (left), Ian Birley (top right) and Anthony Arkwright (bottom right) are all serving whole life orders for murder
Arthur Hutchinson (left), Ian Birley (top right) and Anthony Arkwright (bottom right) are all serving whole life orders for murder

Judge Gregory Dickinson QC warned tghe killer that he could face a Whole Life Order, when he is sentenced in June.

“In every case of murder the court is required by an Act of Parliament to decide the minimum time that must be served before an application can be made to the Parole Board for release on licence,” he said.

“You have a previous conviction for murder, indeed double murder, so under the same Act the starting point is what is called a whole life order, which means that if that is the sentence imposed then you will remain in prison for the rest of your life.”

Murder carries a mandatory life sentence and judges set a minimum number of years offenders must serve before they can be considered for parole.

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But in extreme cases, whole life orders can be imposed, meaning that prisoners will never be released.

At the end of June there were 60 criminals serving whole life orders.

Murderer Arthur Hutchinson, who killed three members of a Sheffield family, challenged a whole life order he was sentenced to but lost his appeal and will also spend the rest of his life locked up.

He broke into a home in Dore in October 1983 and fatally stabbed husband and wife Basil and Avril Laitner and their son Richard.

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Just hours earlier the family had hosted a wedding celebration.

The judge in his original trial ruled that he should serve a minimum of 18 years behind bars but then-home secretary Leon Brittan later imposed a whole life order.

In 1989, killer Anthony Arkwright was sentenced to a whole life tariff for a 56-hour killing spree in which he disembowelled three victims in Wath-upon-Dearne, Rotherham.

He was sacked from his job in Mexborough then went home and stabbed his grandfather and two of his neighbours.

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In February 2018, Ian Birley was sentenced to a whole life term for murdering 65-year-old John Gogarty, at his Wombwell home, Barnsley.

Birley struck 18 months after he had been released from prison for another murder.

The killer was out on licence after serving his sentence for a 1995 murder, when he attacked Mr Gogarty – stabbing him 69 times.

He and an accomplice attacked their victim during a robbery to pay a drugs debt.

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Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, who was arrested in Sheffield, died in November 2021 at the age of 74 while serving a whole life order.

His arrest in Broomhall in January 1981 ended a five-year reign of terror.

The serial killer murdered 13 women and attempted to kill another seven.

He was finally captured when two police officers on patrol in Sheffield spotted a car with false number plates and realised that the driver shared many of the killer’s known physical characteristics.