A REQUEST to reconsider the decision to grant murderer Russell Causley parole has been rejected.

Causley, who murdered Carole Packman in 1985, was deemed suitable for release by the Parole Board last month despite never revealing the whereabouts of his wife's body.

Concerns about this decision were raised by his family, including grandson Neil Gillingham, who launched an appeal.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland subsequently asked for the Parole Board decision to be reconsidered.

However, this morning it has been confirmed that this application has been rejected by a senior judge.

A Parole Board spokesman said: “The Parole Board has now considered the Secretary of State’s application for reconsideration in the case of Russell Causley.

“The Parole Board has immense sympathy for families of victims who have never been found and recognises the pain and anguish they have endured.

“A senior judge of the Parole Board has rejected the application for reconsideration and found that the decision of the original panel was a rational one, with ample evidence on which the panel could base its decision.

“In rejecting reconsideration the judicial member of the Board member commented that the panel were entitled to consider that the prisoner’s age (77) and poor health were likely to reduce the risk of causing serious harm.

“As made clear in the reconsideration decision, release was supported by the Secretary of State’s officials during Mr Causley’s review.

“The reconsideration mechanism was introduced by the Parole Board last year to allow the Secretary of State and prisoners to ask for a parole decision to be reviewed if they felt it was irrational or procedurally unfair.

“We welcome this crucial safeguard in the system which allows an avenue for people to scrutinise our decisions.”

As reported, Causley has changed his account over what happened in Bournemouth 35 years ago on several occasions.

He has twice been convicted of murdering Mrs Packman, in 1996 and 2004, and is serving a life sentence. He is expected to be released within the next few days.

Mr Gillingham and his mother Samantha have campaigned for Causley to stay behind bars until he disclosed what he did with Mrs Packman's body.