Vicious child killer jailed for attempted murder of dementia sufferer with rake
4th January 2019

A vicious child killer who nearly decapitated a dementia sufferer with a rake after being released from prison has been jailed for life.

Stephen Chafer, now known as Stephen Leonard, was freed in 2002 after serving 23 years for sexually assaulting and stabbing three-year-old Lorraine Holt to death in 1979.

He returned to prison in 2013 for arson, but was released on license again four years later.

He was today sentenced for trying to kill Fay Mills, a 60-year-old dementia sufferer, in Peterborough in another frenzied attack in a row over garden tools.

Chafer will serve at least 17 years before he is eligible to apply for parole.

Lorraine’s family have hit out at the Parole Board for releasing Chafer, who was going by the name Stephen Leonard.

Her dad, Jim Holt, told : "I know what I want – I want the death penalty.

"But I can’t have it, so instead I want life — which is, life means life — meaning he comes out in a box."

He was jailed for attempted murder, which happened during a row over a garden rake.

Chafer was 17 when he was jailed for life for sexually assaulting three-year-old Lorraine Holt, before knifing her to death.

He found her sitting in the snow in tears near her home in Derby, then carried her to a nearby vicarage where he sexually assaulted her and stabbed her 39 times.

Now aged 57, he was living under the pseudonym Stephen Leonard when he launched a frenzied knife attack on Mrs Mills, 60.

Mrs Mills, who has dementia, was so badly injured that police believed she was already dead when they arrived at her Peterborough home on June 23 last year.

Chafer was convicted at trial in December last year of the attempted murder of Mrs Mills and of the common assault of her neighbour Mark Patchett, who tried to go to her aid, Cambridgeshire Police said.

He will be sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday.

Jim Holt, the father of Lorraine Holt, has criticised the Parole Board for giving Chafer the chance to re-offend.

Mr Holt, who now lives in Nottingham, told the BBC he hoped authorities "lock him up and keep him locked up because if he comes out again he’ll destroy another family".

Chafer admitted Lorraine Holt’s murder and was granted parole, after serving 23 years, in 2002.

He was returned to prison in 2013 for torching his flat, risking the lives of the other residents in the building, but was released again in 2017.

A spokeswoman for the Parole Board said in an earlier statement: "The Parole Board directed the release of Stephen Leonard following an oral hearing in July 2017.

"Tragically, there are rare occasions when offenders go on to commit serious further offences after being released by the Parole Board.

"Whilst this represents an extremely small proportion of cases considered, we do take each case extremely seriously and work with others in the criminal justice system to ensure that lessons are learned to help to prevent further tragedies.

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