The Memo: Glyn Razzell: When are murderers refused parole?

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Glyn Razzell: When are murderers refused parole?

Alice Gregory – 18 September 2023

The parole hearing of Glyn Razzell is currently underway, and a panel will decide whether the convicted murderer should be allowed to leave prison after serving time for the murder of his estranged wife. The victim, Linda Razzell, disappeared in 2002 during divorce proceedings with Glyn Razzell, who was set to face an unfavourable financial settlement. Although the body has never been found, the victim’s bloodstains were found in a car that Glyn Razzell had borrowed, leading to his arrest and eventual prison sentence. There has been no new evidence on the case but Razzell has still been given two parole hearings to date. Greg Worrall, Linda Razzell’s former partner, claims these hearings are a waste of money and only serve to further torment the victim’s family.

Razzell was first refused parole back in 2021 under the Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Act 2020, also known as Helen’s Law. This legislation makes it more difficult for murderers to be granted parole if they refuse to supply information on the whereabouts of their victim’s remains. It also applies to paedophiles who refuse to identify their victims. At this hearing, the panel noted Razzell’s marked lack of empathy for those involved, and refusal to offer any information. However, due to his reported good behaviour, he was allowed to stay in an open prison with less security and supervision, where inmates are often not locked in cells.

Over the last 20 years, Razzell has continued to insist that he is innocent. He maintained this in the most recent hearing, which was livestreamed following new rules to make the parole process more transparent. He stated that he doesn’t know where Linda Razzell’s remains are or if she is even dead, despite their children’s pleas to let them carry out a proper burial. He also added that he would like to try and find her should he be released. The hearing is not yet complete, but the panel will also consider Razzell’s behaviour, risk and likelihood of committing more crimes alongside medical and psychiatric evidence. A victim impact statement is another key part of the parole decision, likely taking into account Razzell’s choice to continue to withhold information.

The decision is not yet final, but this isn’t the only parole hearing to keep an eye on. Jon Venables, who brutally murdered James Bulger in 1993 and has since reoffended twice, will also face a parole hearing soon.