Wednesday, 20 October 2021

UK’s longest-serving prisoner released


Photograph: Dan Carrier

UK’s longest-serving prisoner was released yesterday (Wednesday) after spending nearly 43 years behind bars. John Massey, 69, was convicted of the 1975 murder of pub doorman Charlie Higgins.

He was handed a mandatory 20-year life sentence but spent more than twice as long in jail after escaping twice to say goodbye to dying members of his close-knit family in Kentish Town.

His extraordinary story included a daring prison break from Pentonville in 2012, a bid to see his mother on her deathbed. He had been denied compassionate leave.

While some may not forgive him, despite his messages of remorse, when he walked out of HMP Warren Hill in Suffolk yesterday morning Mr Massey had served a sentence almost two decades longer than other prisoners in the UK convicted of the same crime.

He collapsed into the arms of relatives and said: “It was a moment of madness. I’ve served my time now.”


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