Shoe Fetish Killer Denied Parole

Parole was denied for a shoe fetishist killer who committed a random murder, as he is deemed to have unresolved treatment requirements that must be attended to before his release.

Wendy Speakes was found murdered by Christopher Farrow, 61. She was assaulted, bound with stockings, and stabbed 11 times.

The gruesome discovery of Mrs. Speakes’ body at her residence in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in March 1994 triggered a six-year manhunt for the sadistic killer.

Before the Speakes incident, Farrow had attempted to assault a 24-year-old barmaid sexually.

The tragic death of Mrs. Speakes sparked an extensive police investigation, leading to the implementation of DNA tests on numerous individuals to identify the perpetrator. 

Thousands of men were subjected to this procedure as part of the investigation. 

Farrow’s capture became possible due to advancements in fingerprint technology, enabling a comparison between the partial print discovered at the crime scene and his own.

In November 2000, he was given a minimum sentence of 18 years along with a life sentence, and two prior parole appeals were denied.

However, in 2018, Farrow was transferred to an open prison in anticipation of his release by parole authorities. 

Subsequently, he was returned to closed conditions without explaining this decision.

On June 8, the Parole Board announced its rejection of both Farrow’s appeal for release on license and his request to be transferred back to an open prison. 

Initially scheduled for November of the previous year, the parole hearing was postponed, allowing the Secretary of State to provide additional information. 

A second hearing was also canceled, and ultimately, the decision was based on the contents of Farrow’s prison files.

He has been assessed to have unresolved treatment needs requiring further interventions. The panel reviewed the release plan Mr. Farrow’s probation officer proposed and evaluated it against potential risks. 

As a result, the panel concluded that this plan would need to be reevaluated once his special treatment needs have been addressed. 

He was preoccupied with sex and believed he could engage in sexual activities whenever he pleased. Additionally, Mr. Farrow experienced difficulties in managing intense emotions.

During the proceedings, Robert Smith, QC, the prosecutor, stated that the footwear, such as the black shoe on the bedside table, was intended to serve a specific purpose regarding sexual arousal, as were the stockings.

Mr. Smith further explained that Farrow tended to observe shoes during sexual encounters.

According to the prosecutor, Farrow confessed to detectives, saying that he noticed her as she alighted from a bus while he disembarked from another bus.

He had been contemplating how miserable his life was. He claimed his sexual life was unsatisfying and harbored considerable distress and anger towards his girlfriend. 

He said I simply wanted someone else to experience the same suffering I was feeling.

Mr. Justice Morland recommended that Farrow remain incarcerated for “a great many years” in the interest of public safety.

Farrow has already undergone three parole hearings and has served an additional five years in prison beyond his minimum term “to safeguard the public.” 

He will be eligible to reapply for parole in 2025.