Sarah payne killer

Sarah Payne: Is her killer Roy Whiting still in prison? Will he ever be released?

Her murder is explored in a Channel 5 documentary tonight

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The murder of Sarah Payne took place more than two decades ago but whatever happened to her killer Roy Whiting?

Channel 5 will tonight (July 22) air true crime documentary Sarah Payne: 5 Mistakes That Caught a Killer.

It examines the murder of eight-year-old Sarah, who was killed by Whiting in 2000.

The programme features interviews with detectives, forensic experts and other crucial witnesses.

It’ll also chart the police investigation and the evidence that led them to her killer.

So, two decades on, what happened to Whiting?

Sarah Payne
Sarah Payne was murdered in 2000 (Credit: YouTube)

Is the killer of Sarah Payne still alive?

Whiting was found guilty of Sarah’s murder and deemed a “high risk” repeat offender.

In court, he was told by the judge: “I am quite satisfied that you indecently assaulted her in it.

“As we all know, you stripped Sarah naked and you suffocated her and buried her and got rid of her clothes – you are indeed an evil man.

Read more: What happened to Sarah Payne’s dad and where are her mum and siblings now?

“What is more you did the same thing in 1995, but that girl you mercifully did not kill.”

When Whiting was told he would never leave prison, he did not show any emotion.

“You are every parent’s and every grandparent’s nightmare come true,” the judge continued. “You are and will remain an absolute menace to any little girl.

“It’s one of the rare cases where I shall recommend to the appropriate authorities that you be kept in prison for the rest of your life so that no further child is added to the list of your victims and the lives of a third family are not ruined.”

Sarah Payne killer
Roy Whiting, killer of Sarah Payne (Credit: Channel 5)

What happened to Sarah Payne?

Sarah was just eight years old when she was kidnapped and killed by convicted paedophile Roy Whiting.

In the summer of 2000, she was staying at her grandparents’ house in West Sussex with her two brothers Lee and Luke and sister Charlotte.

Read more: Sarah Payne’s siblings feel ‘guilty’ about her death

While out playing by a corn field in a quiet country lane, she was snatched.

Lee witnessed the moment his sister was taken and later recalled seeing Whiting grinning and smiling as he sped away in a white van.

He remembered the vehicle skidding and the tyres screeching because it was moving so fast.

Sixteen days later, her naked body was found dumped in a shallow grave just a few miles away.

Sarah payne killer
Sarah’s heartbroken parents endured at 16-day wait before her body was found (Credit: YouTube)

So where is Whiting now?

He’s still serving at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

In August 2002 he was attacked with a razor blade by a fellow inmate at HMP Wakefield. It left him with a six-inch scar on his cheek.

In July 2011 he was attacked again. This time he was stabbed in the eye but his injuries weren’t life threatening.

A third attack took place in November 2018 when he was stabbed by two other prisoners in his cell.

He was taken to hospital but was quickly returned to HMP Wakefield in a stable condition.

In June 2004, Whiting appealed to the High Court to have his sentenced reduced.

It was heard in the summer of 2010 and decided that his 50-year minimum sentence would be reduced to 40 years.

This means he will be eligible for parole in 2041 when he is 82 years old.

Sarah Payne: 5 Mistakes That Caught a Killer is on Channel 5 tonight (July 22) at 11.05pm.

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