Family of victims launch petition against life sentence as brutal Northampton murderer Philip Austin up for parole
The killer was sentenced to three life sentences to run concurrently, so after 20 years in prison he is up for parole
A family has launched a petition against 'life' sentencing as a brutal Northampton murderer who killed his wife, their two children and their two dogs is up for parole.
Phillip Austin killed his wife Claire when she was 31, their son Keiren, aged eight, their daughter, Jade, aged seven at their home in Standens Barn in July 2000.
Austin pleaded guilty to the horrific crimes and was handed three life sentences to run concurrently.
Two decades have passed, and the now-51-year-old, is up for parole, although a date for his hearing has not yet been set.
The family of Austin’s victims have been left distraught by the thought that the evil man who killed their loved ones could be walking free soon, so have set up an online petition in the hope a life sentence can be changed to mean the criminal spends their entire life in prison.
Carol Quinn, mother to Claire and grandmother to Keiren and Jade, told Chronicle & Echo: “The sentencing makes me believe they think their lives were worthless.
“As the sentences run concurrently it makes it one life sentence so he hasn’t been given a life sentence at all, he has been given a tariff or 20 years.
“That works out as four years per life, including the dogs.”
The grandmother, who alongside her husband, found Claire, her children and their pet poodles, dead in their home 20 years ago, is seriously concerned about what would happen if Austin was released.
Carol added: “How it is at the moment is that we are sitting on a ticking time bomb.
“I don’t know what I will do if he is released.
“I can’t comprehend how anyone could consider releasing him.”
To get the petition to be considered by Parliament, the family will need 100,000 signatures, which Carol knows is a big ask, but believes it is worth a try.
“We need a lot of people to get involved to make anything of the petition,” she continued.
“I would love it if it did go through and maybe we can make it.
“I have my fingers crossed and I really hope people will sign.
“It really could happen to them. Everyone thinks it will never happen to them and that’s what we thought, but it really could happen to anyone as it was so out of the blue.”
The Parole Board confirmed that Austin’s case has been referred to them, although a date for his hearing has not yet been set.
To support the family's petition, visit their Change.org site here.
Message from the editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper while out for your essential shopping.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.