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Murderer freed to kill again

Date online: 01 July 2014

A MURDERER told he would spend the rest of his life in prison after stabbing and killing his former girlfriend had killed before in Oldham.

Paul O’Hara had been out on life licence for 23 months before killing Cherylee Shennan in Rawtenstall. He had served 14 years behind bars for the murder of Janine Waterworth in High Crompton.

The 43 year old attacked Cherylee with a hammer, tried to strangle her and stabbed her with a kitchen knife after she tried to run to safety. During the attack he also knocked a police officer unconscious and threatened another with a knife.

Yesterday O’Hara pleaded guilty to Cherylee’s murder, wounding with intent to cause GBH to a police officer and assault with intent to resist arrest.

Speaking after the hearing, a spokesman for the Parole Board said they “deeply regretted” the circumstances that led to Cherylee’s death. Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said “serious questions” must be asked over why O’Hara was freed to kill again.

Preston Crown Court heard O’Hara planned to kill Cherylee (40) because he was afraid she had told police how he had previously assaulted her and that his life licence would be revoked, sending him back to jail.

When two officers arrived to see him O’Hara, who had drunk a bottle of vodka that morning, burst through the back door with a hammer and started hitting Cherylee and the officers.

Det Sgt Damien McAllister was knocked unconscious and his colleague Det Con Karen Kenworthy hit O’Hara with her baton. O’Hara backed off into the kitchen and grabbed a large knife.

As the officers got the victim out of the house O’Hara chased after them and stabbed Shennan in the arm, chest and face five times.

One of the detectives made an emergency call and other officers eventually subdued him with pepper spray.

Judge Anthony Russell QC told the violent defendant: “This was a most brutal and savage attack. I am left in no doubt you intended to kill Cherylee Shennan. You are a very dangerous man, particularly to women with whom you form a relationship.”

He also sentenced O’Hara to 10 years imprisonment for the wounding of Det Sgt McAlister and 12 months for assaulting Det Con Kenworthy.

Judge Russell added: “I wish to pay tribute to the courage shown by both police officers in dealing with this terrible incident.”

O’Hara was allowed parole as the board was satisfied it was no longer necessary to keep him behind bars at HMP Kirklevington Grange in Cleveland.

The life licence meant he could be returned to prison at any time he was considered a public risk.

After the hearing, Det Supt Eddie Thistlethwaite said: “O’Hara is a horrendous, dangerous man, especially to women. He is going to be in prison for the rest of his life. I have seen lots of violence, but this is one of the most shocking - made worse by the fact he had killed another partner. He’s not mad, he’s bad.”


What more can anyone say...other than society as a whole owes the family of Cherylee a huge apology for allowing our country to be bullied by outside sources into allowing MURDERERS OUT OF CAPTIVITY... where they clearly belong.

How on earth Police Officers were allowed to deal or confront this lunatic without armed support is beyond me, and if they'd shot and killed him it would have been for the best.

Sadly human life appears to be down at the bottom of most priorities these days.

is this yet another case where alcohol played a part in the tragedy?

This case highlights why a 'life' sentence for murder should mean life. In the last 13 years over 30 people have been murdered by people released from prison early after previous murder convictions.
Why do 'Human Rights' campaigners never campaign for the rights of victims of crime? Why do they put the 'rights' of criminals first?

Absolute jokes ALL the 'authorities'. The type of individual that should be given a lethal injection and wiped off the face of the earth.

i agree life should mean life. Minerva believe me alcohol
did not play a part in this he was a brutal killer and should never have been let out after killing Janine.
I think that we should bring back the death penalty in cases like this he has killed 2 beautiful young women in cold blood.

Should have hung him the first time round .


I didn't use to support the death penalty however the evidence has mounted that it does have a huge deterrent effect.
In fact it has a 100% deterrent effect in some cases. No one who has been executed has ever gone on to reoffend. In this case the hand wringers scruples have cost the life of a young woman, which they will wash their hands of by saying it wasn't their fault as they couldn't have foreseen this.
Well others much wiser than you can !

I agree this is a preditor and not a man no one should get away with the excuse of drugs and alcohol ever life for a life I say Bring back Hanging. even that is not good enough
for a monster who strikes twice once is bad enough the do ggooders in our country need a shake up

Thank goodness that the Court of Appeal upheld the principle of whole-life prison terms last February. A huge chunk of people serving a whole-life term have murdered again after serving long sentences. It means that specimens like O'Hara will not get a third chance to end somebody's life.

Anyone who argues against whole life tariffs is arguing for the right for these sick individuals to commit more murders!

Once again a murderous violent person has been released by the parole board who "deeply regretted" the circumstances leading to the young lady's death. Its decisions like these which expose the general public to a "Russian roulette" with regards to their safety and something needs to be done, otherwise these headlines will become far more frequent.


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