A man jailed 46 years ago for murdering three children at their home before impaling them on garden railings has been released from prison, the victims’ mother has said.

David McGreavy, dubbed the “Monster of Worcester” – was given a life sentence in 1973 for killing nine-month-old Samantha Ralph, two-year-old Dawn and four-year-old Paul before hanging their mutilated bodies on a fence outside.

Paul was strangled, Dawn was found with her throat cut and Samantha died from a fracture to the skull.

Dawn Ralph, 2, was one of three children murdered at their Worcester home in 1973
Dawn Ralph, two, was one of three children murdered at their Worcester home in 1973

McGreavy, who was a family friend and lodger, claimed he killed them because the youngest would not stop crying.

Now living in Hampshire, their mother Elsie Urry told BBC Hereford and Worcester on Tuesday that she was informed of his release by Victim Support.


She said: “Yeah, I’m afraid so. All she has told me is that he’s been released, he’s got a tag and he’s got to obey certain rules that they’ve given him.

“Other than that, I don’t really know.”

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McGreavy, who was 21 at the time, had been babysitting her children while she went to work in a pub.

He first became eligible for release in 1993.

In December 2018, the Parole Board confirmed he was being released, suggesting he no longer posed a significant threat to the public.

In a personal statement from the children’s mother, Ms Urry – then known as Dorothy Ralph – set out the “the devastating effect” the deaths had on her “and still do have”.

But a document about his case claimed he had changed “considerably” over his 45 years in custody and that he had developed “self-control” – as well as “considerable understanding of the problems that he has had and what caused them”.

The Parole Board says its decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release.

The three children's bodies were found impaled on garden railings in Worcester
The three children’s bodies were found impaled on garden railings in Worcester

It says a panel will have carefully looked at a whole range of evidence, including details of the original evidence and any evidence of behaviour change.

It also claims that public safety is its “number one priority”.

Conservative MP for Worcester Robin Walker has repeatedly written to successive justice ministers and home secretaries objecting to McGreavy’s release.

He said: “Frankly, I don’t think someone who carried out such crimes should ever be let out. It is a great shame.

“I understand there are strict curfew and tag conditions and he is banned from Worcester, and the area in Andover where Ms Urry lives.”