Soham murderer Ian Huntley is ‘allowed to mix with children’in jail

Child killer Ian Huntley is being allowed to mix with children during prison visiting hours, it has been reported.

The Soham murderer is serving a minimum of 40 years behind bars for killing Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

But because of equality laws, he is now allowed to mix with children visiting relatives at HMP Frankland, Durham.

The move, which sees other paedophiles in the same room as children, has been described as ‘ludicrous.’

A man who took his five-year-old son to see a family member at the prison told The Sun: ‘As I sat down, there he was, right next to us.

‘I was furious.

‘Who on earth thinks putting a paedophile serving a sentence for killing children into a room with young kids is a good idea?’

Officials are said to have relaxed previously-strict rules fearing they could be accused of discrimination.

The dad, who complained to a prison officer, was reportedly told that governors do not want prisoners to feel ‘victimised.’

They are allowed to be in the room with them for up to two hours at a time.

The decision is said to have been taken locally by the jail and is not official Prison Service policy.

A service spokesman said that children killers and sex offenders being ‘around’ during visiting periods at a high-security jail such as Frankland is ‘unavoidable.’

They stressed that visits are closely monitored at all times.

Huntley’s crimes shocked the nation in 2002 after the school caretaker killed the schoolgirls after they went out to buy some sweets during a family BBQ.

He lured them into his house before murdering them.

The bodies of the girls, both aged 10, were found two weeks after their disappearance in a ditch.

During the police search, Huntley gave TV interviews and joined in the searches while then-girlfriend Maxine Carr gave him a false alibi.

He was jailed for life in 2005. Carr was jailed for perverting the course of justice and released in 2004 with a new identity.

Huntley is not the only high-profile criminal being housed in the jail.

Milly Dowler’s murderer Levi Bellfield, Babes in the Wood killer Russell Bishop and the Yorkshire Ripper are also locked up in the prison.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen condemned the move, saying: ‘These are very dangerous prisoners who have committed heinous crimes.

‘I do hope that the Prison Service has carried out a full assessment of the risks to the public and also the risks to the prisoners themselves.’