Coronation Street rapist to be released but sick crimes still cause nightmares

A woman whose mum was attacked by the so-called "Coronation Street rapist" has launched a petition to stop his release later this month.

Andrew Barlow – formerly known as Andrew Longmire – was handed multiple life sentences in October 1988 after he was convicted of 11 rapes, three attempted rapes, indecent assault, and using a firearm to resist arrest – but he was linked to even more crimes during his sentence.

The mother of a woman who started the petition became one of Barlow's victims when he broke into her home in a town in Greater Manchester in 1987, and said she still has nightmares following the ordeal, Manchester Evening News reported.

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"My mum was in her 20s at the time, a single parent," the daughter said.

"After that, my mum never felt safe. She was terrified whenever she came across a man in the street, thinking was it him.

"I always remember that when my mum saw his face in the newspapers, she would have a panic attack and she had a breakdown when it was reported he was attempting to be moved [from a Category A prison].

"It has affected her deeply. She has had suicide attempts and periods of depression for which she needed medical help. We are concerned as a family what will happen if he is released. She may have another breakdown.

"I do not believe a person like him can change. What he did was not opportunistic, but pre-meditated and carefully planned. He has been good in prison and got himself educated. So what?

"I think it is disgusting that he is coming out. I think the Parole Board is very naïve to think he can be managed outside.

"My mum is serving a life sentence. She is still living in the house she was moved to after the attack," she added.

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"I do not believe he should be released, he remains a danger."

When he was sentenced, Barlow's tariff was fixed at 20 years, which has now expired.

Barlow is now set to walk free after his case was reviewed by the Parole Board for the eighth time – but the victim's daughter hopes to stop the attacker from roaming the streets any time soon.

In her online petition, set up using a pseudonym to protect her mother's identity, the woman wrote: "The trauma my mum experienced has continued to impact on all our lives.

"My mum still has nightmares over 30 years later, has had multiple mental breakdowns, panic alarms in the house and suicide attempts.

"As Barlow broke into her home she has never felt any security, is unable to feel safe in her own home."

Barlow was dubbed "The Coronation Street rapist" because the majority of his victims were attacked in their own homes in northern England, mostly in Greater Manchester.

Two attacks took place in the street.

Between 1981 and 1988 he raped women across five counties in two separate bouts of attacks, from 1981 to 1984 and August 1987 and January 1988, when he fired a gunshot as officers detained him.

Barlow targeted teens and young mums, spending days finding out his victims' routines including what time other family members and partners would leave for the day so he could strike.

The Parole Board came to their decision on November 30, after Barlow had already spent time outside prison walls in preparation for his potential release.

A Parole Board decision summary said: "The panel examined the release plan provided by Mr Barlow’s probation officer and weighed its proposals against assessed risks.

"The plan included a requirement to reside in designated accommodation as well as strict limitations on Mr Barlow’s contacts, movements and activities.

"The panel concluded this plan was robust enough to manage Mr Barlow in the community at this stage."

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