Shoe fetish murderer denied parole

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A man with a fetish for women’s shoes who raped and murdered a 51-year-old receptionist has been denied parole after he was considered for release from prison.

Christopher Farrow was jailed for life in 2000 for the murder of mother-of-two Wendy Speakes in West Yorkshire in March 1994.

The 39-year-old printer was also given concurrent sentences for rape, buggery and attempted burglary with the intention of raping another woman.

The Parole Board decided Farrow was not suitable to be freed from jail or to be transferred to an open prison.

A document detailing the board’s decision, published on Wednesday, said: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody, and the other evidence presented at the hearing and in the dossier, the panel was not satisfied that Mr Farrow was suitable for release. Nor did the panel recommend to the Secretary of State that Mr Farrow should be transferred to open prison.

“Because the panel considered Mr Farrow needed to continue addressing problem areas and to develop appropriate skills, it concluded that he was appropriately located in custody where outstanding levels of risk could be addressed.

“The benefits of a move to open conditions at this time were considered by the panel to be limited and to be outweighed by the remaining risks that Mr Farrow represents.

“He will be eligible for another parole review in due course.”

This was Farrow’s second review since first becoming eligible to be considered for release in 2018.

Wendy Speakes murder victim
Wendy Speakes was killed by Christopher Farrow in 1994 (PA)

He also forced her to wear another pair of shoes while carrying out the attack after tying her up with tights before stabbing her 11 times until she died.

The court heard that Farrow initially tried to rape a 24-year-old barmaid and followed her for several days before unsuccessfully trying to get into her home before targeting Mrs Speakes, who he spoke to on the doorstep before forcing his way into her house.

He said he carried out the rape because his sex life with his partner was “absolutely zero”.

A huge police investigation was launched to find Mrs Speakes’ killer, with DNA tests carried out on thousands of men.

Farrow was caught after advancements in computer technology in 2000 matched fingerprints taken from him during a 1996 drink-driving arrest to those in an unsolved crimes database, while his DNA was linked to blood found at the crime scene.

According to the Parole Board document, Farrow thought a lot about sex at the time of his crimes and wanted to involve violence as well as holding “generally negative views about women” after a problematic relationship leading to feelings of “frustration and anger”.

While his behaviour in prison has not caused any concerns, and he has taken part in programmes to address his sexual offending, his probation officer and officials overseeing his case “could not support release at this point” and warned more work is needed to address risks he could pose.

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