SUCCESSIVE governments have talked tough on crime and pledged to put the victims first.
But as our story regarding another mass killer from Huddersfield potentially getting parole after serving just over 10 years shows, the victims certainly don’t feel this is the case.
The Chishti family has suffered terribly – losing eight members including five young children – to killers who firebombed their Birkby home in May 2002.
One man convicted of manslaughter has already been freed and another, Shakiel Amir Shazad, will now have his case heard by the parole board in the coming months.
All the family can do is put forward a victim impact statement. They can’t appear in person before the parole board or see the other statements about Shazad that the board will take into consideration.
It leaves big questions for the family that may never be answered. Why is the board considering the case and what will be the reasons for letting him out if they decide to do so?
There is a system of open justice in this country, but that seems to stop once a convicted criminal steps behind the prison gates.
Then there is a feeling that the whole process is shrouded in secrecy and this just does not seem right for the Chishti family ... or justice.