Axe killer and Britain’s longest serving prisoner to make freedom bid in weeks

Depraved serial killer Patrick MacKay is set to make a bid for freedom in the next few weeks and hopes to be released from jail by December.

This is despite committing horrifically violent murders and being suspected of committing a further eight unsolved murders.

The 67-year-old killer is behind bars for the brutal murders of a vicar and two elderly woman – but there are fears he is behind eight more grim deaths.

Mr MacKay – who has changed his name to David Groves – was jailed in the 1970s after killing Father Crean of Shorne, Kent, on March 21, 1975.

He split open the clergyman’s head with an axe, stabbed him multiple times, and left him to die in a bath.

While the criminal – who collected Nazi memorabilia – also murdered 87-year-old Isabella Griffiths in Kensington, London, in 1974, and 89-year-old widow Adele Price a year later.

He murdered the two women by stabbing and strangling them.

He was jailed for life in 1975 and ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years behind bars, but judges warned he should not be released until deemed safe.

Mr Mackay has since spent 45 years in jail making him the longest serving prisoner in the UK, while the amount of people he is believed to have killed would make him the most prolific living serial killer in the country.

His bid for freedom is expected to begin in November and is being planned after he was moved to an open prison in 2017.

However, family of unsolved murder victims are desperate for him to be kept behind bars until it can be proved he killed others.

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The son of Ivy Davies, who was axed to death in her home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, in February 1975, is campaigning for Mr MacKay to remain in jail.

Victor Davies said: "Everybody knows he's killed more than three people.

"Every policeman I've spoken to believes that. If you haven't come clean on all of your crimes, you cannot be a reformed character.

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"I don't think I'll ever find out the truth. I've spent 40 years fighting for justice for my mother's death, and it's almost killed me."

Mr Davies believes Mr MacKay is responsible for the death of his mother due to the fact the killer confessed to eight other murders on top of the three he was eventually jailed for – before ultimately retracting his admission.

He was also troubled by the fact his mother had been undressed and redressed in a night gown following her murder, saying: "The way she was killed was his modus operandi.”

Gareth Johnson, the MP for Dartford which was where MacKay lived, said he wants Essex Police and Scotland Yard to complete their investigations into the unsolved murders.

He said: "I will never be convinced that Patrick MacKay is safe to be released.

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"He certainly should not be considered for release until both the Metropolitan Police and Essex Police have carried out full investigations into the outstanding murders.

"Patrick Mackay was convicted of three killings but he was a suspect for a number of unsolved murders.

"There is no way he should be let out until we are clear he was not responsible for these murders, the risks are just too high."

Essex Police, who investigated Ivy Davies’ murder, said: "We do not currently have any open investigations relating to this individual."

Scotland Yard said: "All unsolved murder cases remain open investigations and are subject to periodic review.

"Action will be taken in relation to any new information received no matter how much time has passed."

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