Family's outrage as Leeds shoe fetish killer who raped and murdered mum in her home set for release

Left: Killer Christopher Farrow. Right: Wendy Speakes' granddaughter Emmeline and daughter Tracey
Left: Killer Christopher Farrow. Right: Wendy Speakes' granddaughter Emmeline and daughter Tracey

A shoe fetish killer who raped and murdered a West Yorkshire mum in her own home has been moved to an open prison in preparation for release by the Parole Board.

It is almost 25 years since Christopher Farrow, from Leeds, forced his way into Wendy Speakes' home before carrying out a frenzied sex attack.

Wendy Speakes was raped and murdered

Wendy Speakes was raped and murdered

Mrs Speakes was tied up with a pair of stockings, forced to wear a pair of blue mule shoes before being raped and stabbed to death.

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The discovery of the 51-year-old's body at her home on Balne Lane, Wakefield, on March 15, 1994, sparked a six-year manhunt for Farrow.

The shocking brutality and random nature of the attack shook the community.

Farrow was finally caught in 2000, given a life sentence and told he must serve a minimum term of 18 years behind bars.

Tracey Millington-Jones says she remains convinced Farrow is still a serious danger to women and will strike again if granted his freedom. Pictured, from left: Wendy's granddaughter Emmeline and daughter Tracey

Tracey Millington-Jones says she remains convinced Farrow is still a serious danger to women and will strike again if granted his freedom. Pictured, from left: Wendy's granddaughter Emmeline and daughter Tracey

A Parole Board panel has now decided Farrow is fit to be moved from a secure jail to an open prison in preparation for release.

The decision has outraged Mrs Speake's daughter who has long campaigned to keep her mother's killer locked up forever.

Tracey Millington-Jones says she remains convinced Farrow is still a serious danger to women and will strike again if granted his freedom.

She told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I think he is a dangerous, dangerous man.

Rapist and murderer Christopher Farrow could be set for release

Rapist and murderer Christopher Farrow could be set for release

"People need to be reminded of what he has done. Particularly people in Leeds and Wakefield if he is going to move back there.

"Why should he have the right to freedom after what he has done?

"He has shown no remorse - right from committing this offence in 1994 up until the day he is going to be released.

"That is the coward that he is.

"He has never said sorry.

Parole Board chiefs took the decision despite Tracey going through the harrowing experience of reading a victim statement at Farrow's hearing.

She described the years of torment and anguish Farrow's shockingly brutal actions had upon her and her family.

Tracey said she is also angry at the intimidating Parole Board hearing process in which she had to drive from her home in Essex to Hull Prison to read her statement.

She said: "The whole thing is a shambles. It is all geared towards the offender.

"I would say this to the justice system - you need to sort it out!"

She told members of the Parole Board panel: “The local community would be living in terror if he was released.

“A pair of mum’s shoes were never found and to this day I believe he hid them as a trophy for his next victim.

“The pain of living with the injustice of the life sentence not meaning life in prison when he took my mum’s life without a second thought would be impossible for me to live with.

“I am sure that the feelings of dread and panic attacks would escalate.

“Looking over my shoulder knowing he was no longer in prison would affect the life I have managed to build back up since 1994.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “We appreciate that reading out a statement at a parole hearing can be upsetting for victims which is why they have the option not to and are given support when they do.

“We take the welfare of victims very seriously and are carrying out a full review of the Parole Board rules to build on work already done to increase transparency and further support victims.”

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: “The Parole Board values any victim engagement in the parole process and understands for those wishing to attend oral hearings to read out their statement, that this is can be an anxious and distressing event.

“We work with HMPPS (Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service) colleagues to minimise distress and have provided guidance for our panel chairs to assist them supporting victims. “The Secretary of State will provide a representative to support the victim on the day and they will make all the arrangements with the prison in regards to the victim attending the hearing.”