One of the UK’s most notorious serial killers has been hit by COVID-19 in front of millions of British adults and the most vulnerable – a move condemned as a “national scandal”, the report said.
Levi Belfield – who killed three people, including 13-year-old Millie Dowler – received a letter offering him a vaccine in the coming weeks, although the program has just been launched for those over 70, The Sun reported.
David Spencer of the Center for Crime Prevention called it a “national scandal.”
“The idea of criminals taking precedence over law-abiding citizens says it all about the way our criminal justice system is run at the moment,”
Former Home Secretary David Blankett said he opposed the belief that “prisoners, let alone child killers, should be given an early dose of the vaccine.”
“I hope the Minister of Justice intervenes immediately and understands why the meager doses of vaccines are being used in this way – and whose idea it was.”
The 52-year-old Belfield is serving two terms for life, which means he has to spend the rest of his life behind bars with a chance of parole.
Most regular Britons remain under strict confinement in their homes because of the raging pandemic, with some of the residents of care homes among the millions of vulnerable still waiting for their shots.
The killer received the offer in a letter sent to him at Frankland’s highest security prison, Co Durham, where he reportedly moaned that he would not receive it sooner as the pandemic “could spread like wildfire”. exposing prisoners to “danger,” The Sun said.
It is not clear what other prisoners have received the same offer in the prison, which houses another notorious child killer, Ian Huntley, as well as the terrorist who beheaded soldier Lee Rigby on the street, writes the British edition.
The former cop who caught Belfield – and whose memoirs are the basis of the TV show “Manhunt” – called the proposal for an early blow “horrifying”.
“Prison staff, police, teachers, shopkeepers and drivers – the people who support us – must come first,” former Chief Inspector Colin Sutton told the British newspaper.
Following the outrage, a Justice Department source told The Sun that “there is no priority for the vaccine for prisoners, nor will there be.”
“No minister has seen this letter, nor does he think criminals should have better access to vaccines than the law-abiding majority,” the source said.
A ministry spokesman also insisted: “To assume that prisoners are treated differently by the general public is complete nonsense.”