Chance DNA Test Leads to Life Sentence for Michael Robinson, Convicted of Strangling Student in Whitley Bay

Chance DNA Test Leads to Life Sentence for Michael Robinson, Convicted of Strangling Student in Whitley Bay

In a chilling turn of events, Michael Robinson, a bus driver at the time, was sentenced to life in prison in October 2004 for the murder of Sara Cameron, a 23-year-old student from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside.

Robinson had strangled Sara, a Finnish-born sports management student, whose naked body was discovered under a hedge in a field near her home on April 21, 2000.

For four years, Robinson managed to evade justice, living with the belief that he had committed the perfect crime.

However, a routine DNA test, conducted after his arrest for a minor criminal damage matter, revealed a match with the DNA samples from Sara’s murder.

Subsequently, Robinson confessed to the killing during police interviews.

The Parole Board’s Decision and Robinson’s Plea for Open Jail

Recently, the Parole Board recommended that Robinson be moved to an open jail, citing his past ‘risk factors’ including deviant sexual thoughts, relationship issues, and substance misuse.

Robinson, now 49, expressed his desire for a progressive move to open conditions, hoping for a slow reintegration into society.

Despite his plea, the Parole Board concluded that Robinson’s release at this point would not be safe for the protection of the public.

However, they recommended his progression to an open prison.

The final decision rests with the Secretary of State, who has 28 days to intervene and prevent Robinson from being moved to an open prison.

Robinson’s Background and the Trial

During his trial in 2004, it was revealed that Robinson had developed fantasies about rape and violence, and had previously stalked two other women.

His family informed the police that he had a history of heavy drinking and cannabis use, often exhibiting violent behavior towards his siblings.

Sara’s father, Roy Cameron, expressed his family’s grief, stating, ‘We will always have proud memories of our beautiful daughter. Because we are parents, our heart goes out to the family of this man for the stain they will have to bear. May God forgive him.’

Robinson was described as ‘exceptionally dangerous’ by Mr. Justice Henriques at his sentencing.

Implications of Parole Laws and Future Prospects

Under the toughened parole laws introduced in 2022, the Minister of Justice has the authority to prevent a prisoner from being moved from closed conditions to an open jail.

This decision is often seen as a precursor to the prisoner being freed on license in the future.

The case of Michael Robinson serves as a stark reminder of the complexities of the criminal justice system and the impact of violent crimes on families and communities.

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