‘Monster of Worcester’ murderer has been freed from prison


The ‘Monster of Worcester’ who murdered three children before impaling their mutilated bodies on a fence outside their home has been released from prison.

David McGreavy, 67, murdered Paul Ralph, four, and his sisters Dawn, two, and nine-month-old Samantha at their home in Worcester in 1973.

But the children’s mother Elsie Urry, 68, has been told by Victim Support that he has been freed after 46 years. She said today: ‘I feel like killing him if I got hold of him.’

She had been able to put forward suggestions on his conditions upon release, with the exclusion zones imposed on him extended after her input.

Ms Urry, also known as Dorothy, told BBC Hereford and Worcester: ‘It gives me a bit of peace of mind but it is still not fair he has been released after what he has done.

‘There’s other prisoners that haven’t done half as bad as what he did to my children and they haven’t been put up for parole, so what has made him be able to get (it)?’

Ms Urry, who now lives in Hampshire, added: ‘They said he was going in for life and then they changed it for (at least) 20 years, but he hasn’t done 60 years. He took three lives, not just one or two; three. And also he’s took my life really.’

She has previously admitted that she ‘wanted him dead’, and believes the murders McGreavy committed were ‘every bit as bad as what the Moors Murderers did’. 

Robin Walker, the Conservative MP for Worcester, has repeatedly written to successive justice ministers and home secretaries objecting to McGreavy’s release. 

He said today: ‘Frankly, I don’t think someone who carried out such crimes should ever be let out. It is a great shame.

‘I understand there are strict curfew and tag conditions and he is banned from Worcester, and the area in Andover where Ms Urry lives.’

Ms Urry received a phone call while she was working at a nursing home at 8.15am yesterday from her Victim Support worker to say McGreavy had been freed.

Visibly shaking as she spoke at her home in Andover today, Ms Urry said: ‘I am so angry and upset. I feel terrible. I feel like killing him if I got hold of him. 

‘He should never have been released. I want people to know he is walking about. I was at work when I had the phone call – it was on my mobile. 

‘The Victim Support person rang to tell me they had released him. They did not tell me where he is staying. All I know is that he is on a tag.’ 

As she spoke her partner of 18 years, Robert, left the house to go on a walk to ‘get some air as he is so upset’, and her pet dog Tilly was barking incessantly.

Ms Urry added: ‘If I did not have them I would probably do away with myself. Tilly has picked up the stress. Tilly has become so upset as well.’

Her neighbour Irene Williams, 72, said ‘everyone is disgusted he has been freed’, adding: ‘He should never have been released. 

‘I am absolutely appalled that the Parole board can ever consider releasing him. I am pretty sure the Parole Board has lost touch with realty. 

‘They (the parole board) certainly do not live in the human world because they do not have human feelings or considerations for people in her situation.’ 

McGreavy, a family friend and lodger at the family’s home in Rainbow Hill, claimed he killed the children because one of them would not stop crying. 

McGreavy, then 21, had been babysitting the children while Ms Urry – then known as Dorothy Ralph – went to work in a pub, while her then husband had been out. 

McGreavy was jailed for life in 1973. Paul had been strangled, Dawn was found with her throat cut, and Samantha died from a compound fracture to the skull.

Setting out the conditions for his release, the Minister for Justice, Rory Stewart, in a letter to Mr Walker said: ‘Mr McGreavy will be subject to a robust risk management plan under the supervision of the NPS (National Probation Service). I can confirm that he has an exclusion zone of Andover in Hampshire, and parts of Worcester.

‘Mr McGreavy will on release be required to wear an electronic GPS tag, using satellite tracking technology, to monitor whether he breaches the exclusion zones.

‘If he does breach the exclusion zone, the monitoring system will immediately flag this to the supervision team, thereby ensuring that immediate consideration can be given to a recall to prison.

‘Mrs Urry and any other victims engaged in the Victim Contact Scheme will be informed of Mr McGreavy’s release once he has arrived at his approved release address.’

A document from the Parole Board about McGreavy’s case released last year said that over his near-half century in custody, the killer had changed ‘considerably’.

It added: ‘He has developed self-control, as well as a considerable understanding of the problems that he has had and what caused them. The psychologist identified a number of factors which make it less likely that Mr McGreavy will reoffend in future.

‘These included his improved self-control and the fact that Mr McGreavy has learnt to remain calm in stressful situations. 

‘He has also shown himself to be compliant and co-operative with authority, which suggests that he will comply with licence conditions. A network of supportive friends in the community was also identified as a protective factor.’

McGreavy has been eligible for parole for a quarter century but previous applications had been refused – most recently in 2016. 

A Parole Board spokesman said today: ‘We confirm that a panel of the Parole Board directed the release of David McGreavy following an oral hearing in November 2018.

‘Parole Board decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release. 

‘The panel will have carefully looked at a whole range of evidence, including details of the original evidence and any evidence of behaviour change.

‘We do that with great care and public safety is our number one priority.’

Parole Board release decisions are sent to the Ministry of Justice, which arranges the physical release of prisoners. MailOnline has also contacted the MoJ for comment.


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