ONE of the UK’s “most dangerous murderers” who was handed THREE life sentences could terrifyingly be freed from jail.
Nicholas Burton horrifically murdered Rachel McGrath in Stockport in 1997 and her family have been left “stunned” at the prospect of his release.
He brutally stabbed the 27-year-old as she went to collect her boyfriend from a pub car park in Bramhall, before continuing his sick rampage.
Just hours later, Burton abducted a 17-year-old girl who he forced to drive to Wales during an 11-hour ordeal.
He threatened to kill the teen, who he had snatched after she called into a newsagents on the way to work.
Burton later sickeningly confessed to a court that he intended to rape and murder her.
The twisted Burton could now be eligible for a Parole Board hearing as he nears the 25-year minimum tariff on his sentence.
If he meets a certain criteria as it comes to an end next May, the board could decide to free the monster back onto the streets.
It is understood that Burton would be expected to be subject to strict licensing conditions should he ever be released.
Rachel’s family have been left reeling at the news and branded it “added insult to incalculable injury.”
They pointed out that the trial judge had explicitly recommended no home secretary should ever allow his release.
Mr Justice Morland told Liverpool Crown Court that a psychiatrist had described Burton as one of the most dangerous men she had ever come across in her career.
Rachel’s brother, Michael McGrath, compared the case to that of Colin Pitchfork, who murdered two 15-year-old girls in the 1980s – but was released just last month.
He told Cheshire Live: “At the trial in 1998, Nicholas Burton was found guilty by the jury in under an hour.
“He was given three life sentences by Mr Justice Morland, who made a recommendation to the home secretary at the time that he should never be released.
“Here we are, 23 years later stunned to find out that he is due to be released next year.
“We simply don’t know how this situation has occurred, especially in light of the very clear recommendations given by the trial judge,” he explained.
Michael said his loved ones welcomed an offer by justice minister Alex Chalk to meet with them to discuss the case.
“Needless to say, our family has been devastated by the loss of Rachel and this latest twist has merely added insult to incalculable injury,” he said.
Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts said the parents of Ms McGrath – her constituents – were warned Burton “would walk free next year”.
Speaking in the Commons, Ms Saville Roberts, the MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, said: “Rachel’s elderly parents were recently told that Burton would walk free next year.
“They haven’t even been able to make a victim statement and believe the correct procedure has not been followed.”
The Justice Minister also told the Commons he would be “delighted” to meet with Rachel’s family, saying victim’s families should be participants rather than spectators in such matters.