Mum's fury as 'no risk' triple child killer David McGreavy is cleared for release by the Parole Board
4th December 2018

David McGreavy, 67, beat to death Samantha Urry, nine months, strangled her brother Paul, four, and cut the throat of sister Dawn, two.

But in an echo of the John Worboys scandal, a three-member Parole Board says he is no longer a “significant risk”.

The children’s mum Elsie Urry said: “I was told he’d never go free.”

The mum said the Parole Board’s decision to release him was like agreeing to put Moors Murderer Ian Brady back on the streets.

He mutilated their bodies with a pickaxe before impaling them on a neighbour’s spiked garden railings.


  • APRIL 13, 1973: David McGreavy murders Paul Ralph, four, and his sisters Dawn, two, and nine-month-old Samantha while babysitting them in Worcester.
  • JUNE: McGreavy admits all three murders. No motive is given. Sentenced to life with a minimum of 20 years.
  • JUNE 1993: He is eligible for parole for the first time.
  • JANUARY 2006: The Sun reveals McGreavy is being allowed out on unescorted day release from Ford Open Prison, Hants.
  • APRIL 2007: Parole Board rejects McGreavy’s parole bid. Sources reveal: “Psychiatric experts said they could not be sure an attack wouldn’t happen again.”
  • 2009: McGreavy granted gagging order banning media from naming him.
  • 2013: His bid for move to open prison fails.
  • 2016: McGreavy’s latest attempt to win parole is rejected by the board. He is told he can apply again in two years.
  • NOVEMBER 6, 2018: Parole Board orders his release from Warren Hill.

His victims’ mum Elsie Urry, 68, who begged the board to keep McGreavy locked up, said: “What this animal did to my children was every bit as bad as what the Moors Murderers did.

“But Ian Brady and Myra Hindley never left prison before they died so why the hell should he?

“He put my babies on spikes for God’s sake — he mutilated them and they died in agony.

“I wanted him dead and to ­suffer like they had but was reassured after his trial that his crime was so terrible he would never walk free again.

“But despite begging them to keep him locked up, I have now finally been betrayed.”

The decision by the three- member Parole Board has echoes of the John Worboys scandal.

The board ruled Black Cab rapist Worboys, suspected of attacks on more than 100 women, was safe for release. The decision was overturned by a legal challenge.

In the case of McGreavy, dubbed the Monster of Worcester and the Friday The 13th Killer, the board has said he should be freed from a closed prison.

It means Justice Secretary David Gauke cannot block the move as he can only overrule a suggested transfer to an open jail.

Ex-sailor McGreavy, then 21, was a lodger at the Worcester home of barmaid Elsie and husband Clive Ralph. He babysat for them for more than two years without incident.

But on Friday, April 13, 1973, he went berserk when Samantha started crying and fractured her skull. He then used a wire to strangle Paul and cut Dawn’s throat.

After mutilating the bodies he impaled them on a railings.

McGreavy was jailed for life with a minimum term of 20 years after a trial which lasted just eight minutes because he pleaded guilty and did not claim diminished responsibility.

He has been eligible for parole for 25 years but every previous application has been turned down. The last refusal was in 2016.

But last month the Parole Board ruled McGreavy had “changed considerably” during 45 years in jail and no longer posed a “significant risk to the public”.

A summary of its decision had to be disclosed to The Sun after we won a ruling over Parole Board secrecy in the Worboys case.

The panel said it had found McGreavy had “developed self-control”, and took “full responsibility” for his crimes. It also said he had a “considerable understanding of the problems he has had and what caused them”.

The panel was shown a a victim impact statement from Elsie.

McGreavy is now expected to be released to a bail hostel after Christmas. He is currently in category C Warren Hill prison, near Woodbridge, Suffolk.

McGreavy previously gagged the Press from revealing his identity as he fought to be moved to an open jail. In 2013 he claimed his human rights would be breached and his life endangered if his ­battle with the Parole Board was made public.


THE Sun’s legal victory in the John Worboys scandal means we can reveal exactly why David McGreavy has been cleared for release.

Our judicial review success in March came after a three-month court battle.

We wanted access to the Parole Board’s reasons for finding Worboys fit for freedom despite him still being housed in a top-security jail. But the board’s rules banned any information being made public.

The High Court backed our claim that the board’s secrecy breached basic principles of open justice.

The ruling gave the public a greater right to know why potentially dangerous convicts have been set free.

The High Court lifted the order after The Sun launched a challenge backed by then Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

The Parole Board said: “We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of David McGreavy following an oral hearing. Parole Board decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release. Public safety is our No1 priority.”

Elsie: I've lost tots & my life

DISTRAUGHT Elsie Urry wrote an impassioned plea to Parole Board chiefs not to free McGreavy — but was cruelly ignored.

And last night the mum of his three victims sobbed to The Sun: “What mother could feel safe knowing that a bastard like that is out there? Who knows when and where his switch will flick again?”

Tears rolled down her face as she clung to her one remaining memento of her lost family — a fading picture in a gilded frame.

She said of the Parole Board decision: “When I got the first call from victim support saying he was going to be freed I let out a howl and put the phone down.

“It was hours before I could calm down enough to call back and demand an explanation.”

Elsie, who got divorced from husband Clive due to her ordeal, went on: “How can it be right that the Parole Board can decide he’s served his sentence when mine will never ever end? I see my children’s faces every night when I close my eyes and try to sleep.

“The focus has always been on his rights. There’s never been any justice for my children and there’s never been any justice for me.”

In her letter to the Board she wrote: “After the murders, I went to pieces. I lost my three babies’ lives but I have also lost most of my life.”

The Board replied: “Over the 45 years in custody, the prisoner has changed considerably.”

Elsie said: “He can never be safe on the streets. They may come to regret this and can’t say I didn’t warn them.”

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