A chief constable has complained to the Home Secretary after a triple child killer dubbed the Monster of Worcester was given permission to freely wander the streets of Liverpool.
Merseyside Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe said "life should mean life" and described as a "disgrace" a Home Office decision allowing David McGreavy to leave Ford Prison in West Sussex to take unsupervised breaks in preparation for his release.
McGreavy (54) killed four-year-old Paul Ralph and his two sisters, Dawn, aged two, and nine-month-old Samantha, in Worcester in 1973 while baby-sitting before impaling their bodies on garden railings.
Jurors at McGreavy's trial were reportedly left in shock when they heard details of how he cut the throats of two of his victims and strangled the third with a curtain wire.
He then beat their tiny bodies with a pick-axe handle and impaled them on a neighbour's garden railings.
When arrested, he said he lost his temper when baby Samantha would not stop crying. He smashed her head against a wall and killed her with a double-edge razor.
In a webcast on the Merseyside Police website, Mr Hogan-Howe said: "McGreavy was pictured in the newspaper in Liverpool as he prepares for his permanent release back into the community.
"As some of you may remember, I talked about the proposals to reform murder laws very recently. I stick by the comments that I made then that there should only be one offence of murder.
"This is because I believe the present system works. In most murder cases, life should mean life and society should not have to take the risk that the offenders murder again.
"As a result of McGreavy having being pictured and publicised in Merseyside, I think it will be very unlikely that he will be released into a local community in this area.
"The fact that McGreavy has been given day release is a disgrace. He should not have been released.
"For me, why should society and in this case its children take the risk that he offends again?"
A Merseyside Police spokeswoman said Mr Hogan-Howe had sent a letter to the Home Secretary condemning the Home Office's decision to allow McGreavy to walk around the city, a fact which was unknown to the Chief Constable at the time although his force would have been told.
She said that in similar situations, the relevant police forces are invariably told about proposed excursions of prisoners.
Last night McGreavy was under lock and key once more after an outcry from villagers as plans for him to relocate to Somerset were unveiled.
McGreavy was due to live with a friend, David Hartless and his wife Fiona, but the secret plans for his move were discovered by the residents of Charlton Horethorne.
Mr Hartless said: "I can only think that someone has leaked this information and now there is very little chance of David coming here after this publicity."
Stable boy Dec Amiss, aged 52, said the plans were extremely unpopular with residents.