A NOTORIOUS rapist accused of using ‘psychopathic charm’ to try to wheedle his way out of prison has been given a new shot at parole by a High Court judge.
Andrew Longmire says he ‘simply forgot’ raping a Sheffield woman in her own home in front of her young daughter - just one of his string of horrific crimes in the 1980s.
Longmire, a high security prisoner for more than 20 years, claims that was why he only pleaded guilty to the attack last year and insists he is now a changed man.
Now Mr Justice Nichol has thrown him a lifeline by quashing the Justice Department’s refusal to grant him an oral hearing of his bid to reduce his Category A security status - an essential step towards release on parole.
The judge said Longmire had had no fair chance to fight claims he only admitted the Sheffield attack when faced with damning DNA evidence and had used his ‘psychopathic charm’ to dupe professionals into accepting he poses a low risk to the public.
Longmire, now aged 55, went on two separate campaigns of rape across five counties from 1981 to 1988.
Victims were attacked in their homes and on the street.
He threatened two with a knife and was jailed for life in October 1988 after admitting 11 rapes, three attempted rapes, sexual offences and using firearms to resist arrest.
In May last year, Longmire admitted the attack on the Sheffield woman in September 1981 and received another concurrent life sentence.
Longmire’s 20-year minimum term expired in 2008, but he remains a Category A prisoner, despite four recommendations from prison authorities he be downgraded.
He has been treated at the Fens Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder Unit since 2002, where experts reported he had made ‘considerable progress’ and had admitted the Sheffield attack ‘to prevent any further distress to the victim and her family’.
But the Director of High Security said there was ‘no convincing evidence’ the danger he posed had been reduced.
Minutes of the meeting revealed a psychologist said positive reports ‘were influenced by Longmire using his psychopathic charm’.
They went on to state Longmire, from Bolton, only admitted the Sheffield attack because of DNA evidence and the prospect of facing his victim in court.
But Mr Justice Nicol said Longmire should have an oral parole hearing to give him the opportunity to disprove the allegations.
The judge said: “This was a case where fairness did oblige the Director to hold an oral hearing. Since the Director took his decision without such a hearing, it must be quashed.”