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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Headteacher's Killer Back In Jail

The widow of murdered headmaster Philip Lawrence told last night of her anguish after learning his freed killer had been returned to jail to protect the public after an alleged robbery.

Widow Frances Lawrence holds a picture of her husband Philip who was killed.

Learco Chindamo was arrested just four months after he was released from prison and controversially all­ow­ed to stay in Britain after successfully fighting a deportation bid.

Shocked Frances Lawrence described the incident as “very, very distressing on many levels”.

At her home in Ham, west London, she said: “I can’t understand why Chindamo was in a position to do what he allegedly did when he is supposed to be on licence.

“He always swore he would spend his life living quietly and atoning. I understood he was supposed to be in rehabilitation.”

Detectives detained Chindamo, 30, on Wednesday at his home in south London after studying CCTV footage following the mugging of man at a cashpoint in Camden, north London.

An inquiry is expected to be launched into the monitoring of the killer who has been staying in a hostel in Catford, south London, since his release in July after serving 14 years for the knife murder of Mr Lawrence.

The arrest will raise fresh questions about the watch kept on offenders released back into communities.

It will also put pressure on David Cameron to honour a pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act.

At an immigration tribunal in 2007 the Home Office warned that Chindamo “represents a genuine and present and sufficiently serious threat to the public in principle as to justify his deportation”.

But a judge ruled he could not be deported to Italy, where he lived until the age of five, because it would breach his human rights.

At the time, Mr Cameron said the Act “has to go”, saying: “Abolish the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights.

“The fact that the murderer of Phil­ip Lawrence can’t be deported flies in the face of common sense. What about the rights of Mrs Lawrence?’’

The Bill of Rights was a key part of the Conservative election manifesto. But the Coalition so far has committed only to setting up a commission to review the legislation.

Chindamo was jailed indefinitely for the murder of father-of-four Mr Lawrence outside St George’s Roman Catholic School in Maida Vale, West London, in 1995.

The 48-year-old was stabbed after going to help a pupil who was attacked by a gang. Among the attackers was Chindamo, then 15.

The killer vowed to live “quietly and decently” when he moved to a secure probation hostel after his release.

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