A father’s wait of almost eight years to see a full report about the brutal murderer who raped his ten-year-old son is finally over.
The man, with the help of MP Philip Davies, has been pushing since 2006 to see the full outcome of the probation service investigation, which looked at how convicted killer Stephen Ayre was able to go on to attack the boy ten months after he was released from prison.
Ayre was let out of jail in 2005 – 20 years into a 25-year sentence for the murder of Irene Hudson, 25, in Shipley in 1984.
Serious Further Offence Reviews (SFO) are carried out when offenders go on to commit another serious crime, but not routinely shown to families.
In 2008 a summary of the report was released, but the boy’s father wanted to see the whole report.
Now Mr Davies’ lobbying has led Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to agree that the family can see the full SFO.
The father, who cannot be named to protect his son’s identity, yesterday said he hoped seeing it would bring some peace.
“I was surprised that they’re allowing me to see it. I didn’t expect it to happen,” he said, adding that he has often asked himself what he hopes to gain from reading it.
“I really don’t know, maybe some closure finally. There’s got to be an end to it and I suppose this is the end.
“There comes a point that you’ve got to accept that something terrible has happened and no matter how much you wish it hadn’t, it did. For your own sanity you’ve got to accept it.”
The man is also hoping to see an internal review into the decision to release Ayre on life sentence in 2005 at the same time.
Mr Grayling’s decision was explained in a letter to Mr Davies.
The Justice Secretary referred to requirements introduced in 2013 for probation trusts to produce a victim summary report, based on SFOs.
He said the Government believed that “the victims of serious further offences committed by offenders under statutory supervision should have the right to know how those offenders were managed by the criminal justice agencies – including where those agencies might have failed to do what reasonably might have been expected of them.”
The father will not receive a copy of the report, but will travel to London to read it – perhaps with his son, who is now 18.
“It’s a difficult thing to be in because one part of you wants to completely forget it and the other part needs answers. It’s very difficult to decide which is the better thing to do,” he said.
“Eventually you need to close this horrible box through. I’ve asked myself if I need to read this, but I think it’s something I’ve got to do.”
Ayre, of Bingley Road, Shipley, was sent back to prison in April 2006 for the abduction and rape of the boy, with a whole life tariff.
In 2012, he appealed against the sentence, leading to the tariff dropping to ten years – a decision which caused huge upset to his victim’s dad.
Mr Grayling’s letter said: “I am disappointed that the original whole-life tariff was set aside and am sorry that this caused the family distress.”
The father said: “It doesn’t change what happened and in two years this man’s going to be allowed to apply for parole “I was assured that life’s what it would be.”
He praised Shipley Conservative MP Mr Davies for his determination to get the family a result. “I think he’s been fantastic,” he said. “He told me when he started that he wouldn’t give in and he hasn’t.”
Mr Davies said he was “absolutely delighted” that Mr Grayling had chosen to let the family see the report.
“I’m really pleased,” he said. “I promised I wouldn’t give in and I would keep going until we got the result that we should.
“I hope it will help him and his son.
“Obviously nothing can make up for what happened, but hopefully it will help him come to terms with how Ayre came to be in the position to do what he did.”