Double killer Colin Pitchfork has been seen on Britain's streets for the first time on a shopping trip to prepare him for life outside jail after 30 years, it was revealed today.
The 56-year-old child rapist, the first murderer to be caught with DNA evidence, was photographed browsing Bake Off books and eating a pulled pork roll in Bristol city centre.
Pitchfork, who now uses the surname Thorpe, also went to three banks and the job centre, clearly more preparation for his release.
29 years ago he was jailed for raping and murdered Leicestershire schoolgirls Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in 1983 and 1986.
He dumped their bodies within a mile of each other in Narborough - and one of the attacks took place as his baby son slept in the back of his car nearby.
The baker, then 27, became the first criminal in the world to be convicted based on DNA fingerprinting, following the first mass screening of 5,000 men in three neighbouring villages.
After his arrest he confessed to his crimes and when asked why he is said to have shrugged to detectives and said: 'Opportunity. She was there and I was there'.
He was given life and a minimum sentence of 30 years, reduced to 28 years on appeal, which he has now served.Now, despite his appalling crimes, he is in HMP Leyhill, an open prison in Gloucestershire, and has been allowed back on the streets for up to six hours at time befor being taen to prison.
Lynda Mann's mother Kath Eastwood, 69, told The Sun: 'He shouldn’t even be breathing and should, at least, be locked up forever'.
r'. Double killer Colin Pitchfork (pictured in 1988) has been seen on Britain's streets for the first time in 30 years on a shopping trip to prepare him for life outside jail
30 years ago he was jailed for raping and murdered Leicestershire schoolgirls Lynda Mann (left) and Dawn Ashworth (right) in 1983 and 1986
News of his unsupervised day trips emerged this summer in a letter to his victims' families in a letter from the Ministry of Justice.
Lynda's sister, Rebecca Eastwood, said she and her family were horrified by the news.
Pitchfork raped and murdered Lynda, 15, in Narborough in 1983.
Three years later, he murdered Dawn Ashworth, also 15, in a similarly brutal fashion.
He was jailed in 1988 following the largest manhunt Leicestershire Police has ever mounted.
In June this year, the girls' families were told Pitchfork had been allowed out of prison under escort.
However, they have now been told that he has been cleared to progress to the next stage - leaving custody on his own.
Temporary day release is part of the process of assessing whether a long term prisoner is ready for eventual full-timerelease.
Rebecca said the family was unwavering in its belief that Pitchfork - who is not yet 60 - remains a potential danger to the public.
The exact circumstances of any day release, including the dates and locations, have not been made available to the families.
They do not know in which prison he is being held.
However, Pitchfork is not allowed anywhere in Leicestershire or to knowingly approach any of the girls' relatives.
Rebecca said: 'If it carries on like this, it's only going to be a matter of months before he's allowed out on his own for weeks at a time.
'When he is out on his own he will be able to speak to people and they will have no idea who he is and what he has done.
'He is not allowed in Leicestershire or to approach any of us.
'But we don't know what he looks like now or even what part of the country he is in.
'He's still in his 50s. He still has a lot of time ahead of him and we still think he is a danger to the public.'
Pitchfork was deemed suitable to be moved to an open prison last year following an assessment by probation officers and other specialists.
He is said to have made exceptional progress and is reportedly a model prisoner.
However, more than 20,000 people have signed an online petition, set up by Lynda's family, to call for his release to be blocked. A further 7,000 signed a paper version.
The letter to the families states: 'The offender is now progressing through the process and is reaching the next significant stage, which will be unescorted day release.
'This has been approved and the series of unescorted releases on temporary licence will be happening in the near future.
'There will be a robust risk management plan in place.'
In June, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said they could not comment on individualcases.
However, a spokesperson said at the time: 'All offenders must meet strict criteria and pass a full risk assessment before being considered for release on temporary licence (ROTL).
'ROTL is considered for offenders towards the end of their sentence, taking into account their individual resettlement needs. It helps build and maintain family ties, which is proven to help re-offending.
'Those who fail to comply with the conditions of a ROTL can be returned to closed prisons where they may have to serve additional time.'
Pitchfork was the first person in the world to be convicted on the basis of DNA evidence pioneered at the University of Leicester by Sir Alec Jeffreys.