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Glenda Hoskins was killed by Victor Farrant, who drowned her in the bath of her home in Portsmouth
By Callum May & Tim Johns
BBC News and the Jeremy Vine programme

A man who killed a mother of three is being considered for release from his whole-life prison sentence, his victim’s family have been told.

Victor Farrant was told he would never be freed after killing his ex-girlfriend Glenda Hoskins, 43, in Portsmouth.

But officials have told Mrs Hoskins’ children that Farrant is ill and can no longer receive care in jail.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said it has had no formal release application.

Mrs Hoskins’ body was found by her then 15-year-old daughter Katie at their home on the quayside in Portsmouth in February 1996.

Victor Farrant was caught on CCTV as he headed for a cross-Channel ferry on the day of Mrs Hoskins’ murder

Farrant, a building site labourer, was first jailed for 12 years in 1988 for rape, false imprisonment, grievous bodily harm and unlawful wounding.

He was released from his sentence in November 1995, and a month later attacked Ann Fidler, at her home in Eastleigh.

The 45-year-old victim was beaten around the head with wine bottles and an iron. She sustained serious head injuries and was found slumped in the kitchen of her home by her husband.

Six weeks later, Farrant murdered Mrs Hoskins, an accountant, by holding her under water in her bath.

He immediately stole Mrs Hoskins’ car and took a ferry to Belgium, before spending five months in hiding using the false name Charles Kelly and a lottery agent’s identity card issued by Bognor Regis Town Football Club.

Farrant was eventually recognised by a hostel resident in the south of France, who had seen him on the BBC’s Crimewatch UK. As a result, Farrant was brought back to the UK to stand trial for the attempted murder of Mrs Fidler and the murder of Mrs Hoskins.

Farrant was captured in France after five months on the run

The judge at Winchester Crown Court told Farrant: “This murder was so terrible, and you are so dangerous, that in your case the sentence of life should mean just that.”

In February this year, Mrs Hoskins’ son David was contacted by probation officials, who said that Farrant was being considered for release on health grounds.

David was asked if he wanted an exclusion zone and an order not to contact the Hoskins family to be added to the terms of Farrant’s licence.

Glenda Hoskins lived with her three children in Portsmouth

Mrs Hoskins’ other son Iain said: “The words that the judge said at the trial gave us all the reassurance that we needed to start our lives again. He gave us that reassurance that ‘life would mean life’.

“For the whole family it felt like we’d closed a chapter and were able to get on and live our lives.”

Iain said he was “numb” when he received the news.

“I didn’t know how to process that information. The first day I ignored it and only read a bit of it. You just don’t want to open that door,” he said.

“The email read as ‘this is being done, can we discuss where in the country he will be sent?’.

“If he’s being let out to die…it doesn’t sound like he’s on death’s door,” Iain added.

“This guy is a master manipulator. Even if he has a terminal illness, he could live for some time and it petrifies us that this man could now be let loose.”

Iain Hoskins (r) with his brother David and sister Katie said he was “numb” when he heard Farrant might be released

Iain’s sister Katie had arrived home from school to find her mother missing.

She rang her father – who was separated from Glenda – and the pair called the police to the home in Port Solent.

Katie found her mother’s body wrapped in a carpet in the converted loft of the house.

“Straight away we put Victor Farrant in the frame,” she said. “He’s dated my mum and after they broke up he’d shown up.

“We knew he’d had a lot of obsessive behaviour. We had such anger that it could happen, anger that we knew him, that he’d been to our house. It’s a truly evil person to take someone away in that way.

“For my family and I, we don’t want him to be out in society, and skipping the end of his punishment. He could still be a really dangerous person. If he can walk and breathe, I think he could go on to do this again.”

The Hoskins family have written to Justice Secretary Alex Chalk and Home Secretary James Cleverly with their concerns about Farrant, who is now in his mid 70s.

Serious offenders who are freed from jail usually have their release approved by the Parole Board, but a spokesman said it had not been involved in Farrant’s case.

The MoJ said prisoners were sometimes freed on compassionate grounds in rare and exceptional cases, after a medical and risk assessment.

The Hoskins family have been told by the probation service that a formal meeting between justice officials about the risk posed by Farrant is scheduled for early April.

An MoJ spokesperson said: “Glenda Hoskins’ murder was a horrific crime and our thoughts remain with her family and friends.

“Prisoners are only released on compassionate grounds in exceptional circumstances following strict risk assessments and no formal application has yet been made in this case.”

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