Adam Whittington Child Recovery Specialist, Adam Whittington Project Rescue Children, Child Trafficking and Exploitation, Project Rescue Children

Paedophile bus driver who killed boy then befriended his parents could be free in weeks

A paedophile bus driver who murdered an eight-year-old boy before befriending the child’s parents could be released from prison within weeks. Darren Vickers was given a life sentence for the May 1997 abduction and murder of eight-year-old Jamie Lavis, a schoolboy from Openshaw, Greater Manchester, who he groomed and snatched after he boarded the bus he was driving.

Now 56, he has already served his minimum 25-year-period behind bars, and he could be released as early as February.

Jamie vanished on a bank holiday Monday and his body was only discovered two years later.

In the days after his disappearance Vickers played the part of an innocent bus driver who was haunted by the knowledge that he was the last person to see the boy before he went missing.

Vickers went on TV to speak for Jamie’s parents and urged the public to help find him and took part in searches which he knew would be fruitless.

The sick killer even moved in with Mr and Mrs Lavis and slept in their bed, with them sleeping on the sofa.

Darren’s Vickers befriended Jamie’s parents Karen and John Lavis
Jamie Lavis was abducted and murdered in May 1997
Jamie Lavis was abducted and murdered in May 1997

This meant that having tricked Jamie into staying on his bus all day, before sexually assaulting and murdering him, the paedophile could revel in his parents’ torment for months, while staying updated on the police investigation.

The Parole Board will spend a day assessing Vickers case early next year.

At the time of Jamie’s murder detectives said that Vickers would have killed again if he had not been brought to justice.

Speaking to the M.E.N., former police officer Asif Hussain, 60, who was the Lavis family’s family liaison officer, says he never trusted Vickers – and argues he should never be freed.

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