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Marie Payne's killer could soon be freed

PUBLISHED: 18:04 29 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:46 11 August 2010

A CHILD killer who sexually molested a four-year-old girl before beating her to death and dumping her body can seek his freedom in three years time after a top judge cut his minimum jail term. Last Thursday s decision by High Court judge, Mr Justice Owen

A CHILD killer who sexually molested a four-year-old girl before beating her to death and dumping her body can seek his freedom in three years' time after a top judge cut his minimum jail term.

Last Thursday's decision by High Court judge, Mr Justice Owen, means Colin James Evans, now 68, can ask the Parole Board to free him in early 2011 - despite a recommendation by the judge at his trial that he should "spend the rest of his natural life in prison".

Evans pleaded guilty to murdering Marie Payne in December 1984 and was jailed for life. After luring the little girl, of Goresbrook Road, Dagenham, into his car, he drove her to Epping Forest, where he subjected her to a sickening sexual attack.

When she screamed, he hit her over the head with a fallen branch, fracturing her skull. He stripped Marie naked before burying her body under leaves. He returned to the scene three days later, disinterred her body and mutilated her remains, taking several photographs of them.

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