Blackpool child murderer loses right to vote bid

Peter Chester, courtesy of Blackpool Gazette
Image caption Chester claimed the vote ban violated his human rights

A man serving life for raping and murdering his seven-year-old niece has lost his appeal over his right to vote.

Three judges unanimously dismissed Peter Chester's case and refused him permission to go to the Supreme Court.

Chester, 55, is serving life for raping and strangling Donna Marie Gillbanks in Blackpool in 1977.

His legal team said denying him a vote was a "disproportionate" reaction and violated his human rights.

The Court of Appeal hearing came the day after the government said it had no choice but to give "some prisoners" the vote following a European court ruling.

The European Court of Human Rights had ruled the current blanket ban on serving prisoners going to the polls was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Chester's lawyers argued the serious nature of his offence did not justify disenfranchising him.

But Lord Justice Laws, Lord Justice Carnwath and the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger dismissed his appeal.

Chester, also known as Peter Chester Speakman, has served 33 years in jail.

The High Court rejected his claim over voting last year.

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