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Man guilty of 'most heinous crime for a generation' to be freed in UK

Roberts was jailed for life with a 30-year minimum after killing three policemen nearly 50 years ago.

Image: PA/PA Wire

A BRITISH MAN convicted of killing three policemen nearly 50 years ago in “the most heinous crime for a generation” will be released from prison, officials in the United Kingdom have said.

The news that 78-year-old Harry Roberts, jailed for the murder of three police officers in 1966, was being freed was sharply condemned by London Mayor Boris Johnson and the body representing the capital’s rank-and-file officers.

Roberts and two accomplices were sitting in a van in west London preparing for an armed robbery when they were approached by three unarmed policemen, who they shot dead.

Roberts was jailed for life with a 30-year minimum, although the judge at the time said he did not believe he would ever be released and called it “the most heinous crime for a generation.”

Johnson said that Londoners would be “absolutely sickened” by the decision to release Roberts, while the Metropolitan Police Federation called the move “scandalous, hurtful and abhorrent”.

No exact date for his release has been revealed but it is expected to take place shortly.

Britain’s parliament is expected to pass a law next year which would mean a whole lifetime in prison for offenders who kill police officers.

- © AFP, 2014

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