Essex: Killer Bamber Gets Europe Appeal

Jeremy Bamber, convicted of killing his family in Essex in 1985, will have his appeal over keeping him behind bars for the rest of his life heard by the Grand Chamber of Europe's human rights court.

Bamber has been behind bars for more than 25 years for shooting his wealthy adopted parents June and Neville, his sister Sheila Caffell and her six-year-old twin sons Daniel and Nicholas at their farmhouse in Tolleshunt D'Arcy.

The 51-year-old was given a whole-life tariff after being convicted of the murders in October 1986.

But he has always protested his innocence and claims his schizophrenic sister Ms Caffell shot her family before turning the gun on herself in the remote farmhouse.

In 2009, Bamber lost a Court of Appeal challenge against the order that he must die behind bars. He has twice lost appeals against conviction.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission reached a provisional decision not to refer his case back to the Court of Appeal last February despite claims by his legal team that they had new evidence that could overturn his conviction.

The hearing will test whether the UK's law allowing the most dangerous offenders to be sentenced to whole life tariffs, meaning they will never be released, amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights will hear the case in Strasbourg on November 28, a court spokesman said.

Europe's human rights judges ruled in January that Britain's most dangerous and notorious criminals could be kept behind bars for the rest of their lives.

Bamber's solicitor, Simon McKay, said: "He's obviously delighted with the decision. It demonstrates that his case remains arguable and he looks forward to presenting his position at the Grand Chamber in due course."