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A sick sex criminal dubbed 'the Coronation Street rapist' – who was given 13 life sentences – was released from prison today (Monday, March 6).
Andrew Barlow, formerly Andrew Longmire, was caged in 1988 for a slew of crimes in Greater Manchester.
It was announced in December he would be released, a decision that was slammed by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab who described Barlow's crimes as "despicable".
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The 66-year-old has spent 34 years behind bars, but today was released and taken under police escort to a hostel run by the Probation Service, reports the Manchester Evening News.
One of his victims told Manchester Evening News today: "I fear he may change his name again. I believe there are other victims that have not yet come forward, and even at this late stage I hope they do. He has spent 34 years in jail, but he is still the same evil man.
"I believe he is still dangerous. He may be 66, but now he is coming out with a chip on his shoulder having spent 34 years inside."
Barlow was given 11 life sentences in 1988 for raping 11 women and an additional 56 years for other offences.
In 2010 and then again in 2017, he received two more life sentences after rapes he committed in 1981 and 1982 were linked to him through advances in DNA technology. As he had already surpassed his original 20-year tariff imposed in 1988 just another two years were added to his sentence in each case.
He was dubbed 'the Coronation Street rapist' as most of the victims were attacked in their own terraced homes in the north of England – the majority living in Greater Manchester. Two of the attacks took place in the street. He also struck in Cheshire, Staffordshire, Lancashire and South Yorkshire.
Barlow will be barred from Greater Manchester. In its summary of the decision to release Barlow, the Parole Board says he will be subject to licence conditions which must be strictly adhered to.
He will have to comply with requirements to reside at a designated address, to be of good behaviour, to disclose developing relationships and to report as required for supervision or other appointments.
In addition, he must submit to an enhanced form of supervision or monitoring including drug testing, signing-in times, GPS trail monitoring, polygraph testing and a specified curfew.
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Barlow will have to comply with other identified limitations concerning contacts, activities, residency and an exclusion zone to avoid contact with victims.
He would also have to meet specified restrictions relating to the use of electronic technology and continue to work on addressing defined areas of risk in the community.
According to Manchester Evening News, Barlow would be banned from all of Greater Manchester and most of North Wales. Maps of these exclusion zones were provided to a relative of one of his victims by the Probation Service.
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A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “We know this will be an incredibly difficult time for the victims, but Andrew Barlow will be under close supervision for the rest of his life and can be recalled to prison if he breaches the strict conditions of his release.
“Our parole reforms will stand up for the rights of victims in cases like this, making public safety the overriding factor in parole decisions and adding a Ministerial veto on release of the most serious offenders.”
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.
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