The family of Collette Gallacher, who was murdered by a monster as she walked innocently to school the bus stop 35 years ago this week, have launched a campaign to get her killer on the sex offenders register after it was revealed he is to be released from jail.
Paedophile Adam George Stein, who callously abducted, raped and murdered the six-year-old in February 1986, and left her family waiting for five long days and nights for news, will soon be released from prison.
But Collette’s sisters, Claire and Lauren Holmes, were shattered to discover that Stein will not be on the sex offenders register (SOR), despite the brutal nature of the killing.
The Holmes sisters learned Stein was to be let out of prison when their mum was contacted by the parole board before Christmas. Despite their moving victim personal statements to the board, he was cleared for release.
Remarkably, this is not the first time the killer has been out of prison. Stein was first released to the south east in March 2016 after being in and out of closed and open conditions for years. Within 16 months of release he committed a series of driving offences and concerns were raised over his drinking and ‘relationship difficulties’.
As a consequence, in July 2017 he was recalled to custody where he has remained. He has been declined for parole twice since then – once in late 2017 and again in 2019.
In rejecting his application in 2019, the panel heard evidence from a prison psychologist who reported that during his brief release Stein had demonstrated a string of warning signs including engaging in risky behaviour, increased use of alcohol, ‘inappropriate’ sexual fantasies, using distorted thinking to minimise and justify inappropriate behaviours and secrecy and a lack of openness and honesty.
But then three weeks ago, Collette’s distraught family learned Stein had been cleared for release after the latest review. The board judged that it was no longer necessary to keep Stein in prison for the protection of the public
Although they have been told Stein will not be allowed within miles of Corby, the family have not been given an up-to-date photograph of him and have not been told the town where he will be living – leaving them concerned that they may cross paths without them even knowing.
Stein will have to live at a designated address and report regularly to his supervisor. He will have an electronic tag and will be subject to polygraph testing. He will have a curfew and an exclusion zone which includes Northamptonshire
Their appeal will now be considered by the parole board ahead of Stein’s potential release, which could happen within three months.
May 2017: Sent back to prison. Facing parole panel end of 2018
April 2016: Has now been released to an unknown location in the South East of England
Sentence cut for child killer is slammed
A mother whose daughter was raped and murdered has criticised the Home Secretary who cut the killer’s recommended prison sentence.
Six-year-old Corby girl Collette Gallacher was murdered by Adam Stein in February, 1986.
Northampton Crown Court heard Stein lured Collette into his home in Ashley Avenue, Corby, as she walked to catch a bus to Our Lady’s Infants School on February 28, 1986.
More than 120 police officers were involved in the hunt for the girl.
Her body was found in Stein’s attic after he tried to kill himself and admitted in a suicide note that he had ‘done wrong’.
The judge at Stein’s trial said he should serve a minimum of 25 years, but following advice from the Lord Chief Justice, the then Home Secretary Douglas Hurd decided he should only be imprisoned for 18 to 20 years.
Now Lord Hurd has told the ET why he reduced the sentence by five years.
He said he made the decision because the Lord Chief Justice’s views “carried great weight because he saw all murder cases”.
But Collette’s mother, Karen Holmes, of Corby, is disgusted at the reduction.
She said: “The trial judge heard all the evidence and recommended a sentence based on that.
“This man should not even be looked at until 25 years are up. If people take a child in that way then life should mean life.”
Collette’s family always thought Stein would be behind bars until at least 2011.
But a parole board official visited them last month and told them Stein was applying for parole and could be released soon. It was only then that they discovered Lord Hurd’s decision.
Mrs Holmes said: “Nobody has been in contact with me since the trial. I was told they could not find me but I have lived here for 20 years.
“But when they came and said he was going up for parole I was disgusted.
“We are not mentally prepared for him to be released early.”
The family have put petitions in pubs and businesses around the town protesting at the possible early release and have collected thousands of signatures.