European court to hear life tariff appeal for killer of gay men

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

European judges will hear an appeal from three British murderers, including one who killed four gay men, that the ‘life tariffs’ on which they are imprisoned violate their human rights.

In January of this year, judges at the European Court of Human Rights had ruled there was violation of Article 3, the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment, in detaining the men indefinitely.

Peter Moore was sentenced in 1995 for the murder of four gay men, allegedly for his own sexual gratification. He was incarcerated on a ‘whole life tariff’, meaning he would never be freed.

In 2009, Moore joined Jeremy Bamber, who killed his wealthy family, and Douglas Vinter, who murdered his wife, in a European appeal against the system.

While January’s ruling confirmed such a life sentence did not violate their human rights and was not “grossly disproportionate”, a panel of judges will now hear an appeal.

A panel of five judges has granted the bid for another hearing from Vinter, who killed his wife in 2008. Vinter had served 9 years in prison for the murder of a colleague before being released three years before his return to prison.

The case, along with that of Moore and Bamber, is to be heard in Strasbourg on 28 November this year by the Grand Chamber and will determine the legality of such whole life sentences under human rights law.