'Take responsibility for your actions!'

‘Take responsibility for your actions!’ Parole viewers raging as man who murdered a 19-year-old woman and robbed her of £20 asks for transfer to open prison

  • BBC 2 documentary Parole features murderer who wants to move to open prison
  • READ MORE:  Parole hearing of prisoner who kicked a man to death in 1997 but now insists he is ‘not the same person I was 25 years ago’ is one of those revealed in new BBC documentary

Viewers of BBC documentary Parole have expressed anger at a murderer who appeared on yesterday’s programme asking to be moved to an open prison – saying he needs to ‘take responsibility’ for his actions.

The second episode of the groundbreaking show, which features prisoners’ parole hearings, showcased the story of Matthew Robinson, 35, who violently murdered a young woman on a public street 15 years ago when he was 21-years-old.

He killed 19-year-old Samantha Bennett, a mother-of-one, after agreeing to pay her £20 for sex. When he had no money, the pair argued, and he attacked the young woman with a claw hammer. Her body was found in an alleyway the next day. 

After being convicted of the killing, Robinson was sentenced to life in prison, to serve a minimum of 14 years. 

He is currently serving his sentence at HMP Stocken in the East Midlands. Now he has applied to move to an open prison – or ‘D-Cat’ – which he says will ‘give him more freedom’.

Matthew Robinson (pictured) who killed a woman in 2008, featured in last night’s episode of Parole on BBC. His application to transfer to an open prison was denied by the board 

But for him to move to a D-Cat, the transfer must be recommended by the parole board. 

According to Robinson: ‘What I’m in prison for, that is not me, and I hate everything about it. I deserve to stay in jail. A life for a life, that’s how it should be.

‘But I’ve spent 14 years in prison. I ain’t progressing, I ain’t growing as a person in here. I just can’t cope with this anymore….with the same four walls, you know what I mean? 

‘It would be good for me to go to a D-Cat, because they have work opportunities there [and] town visits. My sister could pick me up, take me into town for the day, and obviously [there would be] a little bit more freedom, get into the community that way.’

Speaking about the hearing, parole chair Rob McKeon said this is the first time Robinson is having a hearing, as he has served the minimum 14 years of his sentence.

He continued: ‘If he were to get a recommendation for an open prison, it opens up the next part of the journey in his sentence, where he might then make steps towards his release. 

‘If  someone goes to an open prison, over time, they will get to spend time in the community, that means they will come into contact with members of the public. We’ve got to be sure that people aren’t at risk, because our jobs are public protection.’

According to Robinson, he feels ready to move to a D-Cat because he feels he has ‘grown and matured a lot’, and thinks it’s the only way he can move on with his life.

Samantha Bennett (pictured) was killed by Matthew Robinson in 2008. He attacked her with a claw hammer and left her for dead. She was 19

Mugshot: Matthew Robinson after his 2008 arrest for killing Samantha Bennett. He was 21-years-old at the time of the murder

When considering whether he should be transferred, the parole officers considered Robinson’s history of violence and drug and alcohol abuse, as well as whether his level of risk if he were transferred would be acceptable.

During the hearing, Robinson discussed the details of his crime, as well as some of the difficult circumstances of his childhood – including feeling rejected by his mother who was a heroin abuser, and facing violence from his mother’s partner. 

He also talked about how he became an active member of the church in 2017, saying his faith has saved him from taking his own life, and has offered him a new perspective on life – with him committing to always tell the truth and live in a more positive way.

According to Robinson, while his crime was grotesque, he says ‘that is not me’. He pledged to use the ‘guilt and shame’ he feels to inspire better behaviour. 

Unfortunately, despite finding Jesus, Robinson was found to commit a violent act in prison, assaulting another prisoner in 2021.  

Ultimately, the parole board decided not to recommend his transfer, after discussing the violence of Robinson’s crime, and his subsequent attack of another prisoner.

The board suggested that he did not have adequate control over his emotions when in difficult or antagonistic situations. This, they said, meant that the public may not be safe if exposed to Robinson, and while prison is a difficult environment posing different situations than life on the outside, they were not satisfied he is currently ready to move to a D-Cat.

Furious viewers felt that Matthew Robinson had not taken responsibility for his crimes, and were satisfied that he should not be transferred to a D-Cat

Many viewers felt that Matthew was not taking responsibility for the horror of the crime he committed, with one Twitter user writing: ‘This guy is a born liar, heard enough of him already, still won’t take responsibility for what he done.’

Another added: ‘The issues lie with the original sentences passed by the court. He murdered a woman in 2008. 2008. Prisons are there to keep everyone safe, not to allow murders to temporarily preach to god and hope they can be released early if they behave.’

And a further social media user wrote: ‘Such an important piece of correspondence and he rolls it up like an old rag…all that pretending to be a church goer has been a waste…shouldn’t be let out ever.’ 

Another tweeted: ‘Everyone deserves a second chance. no don’t agree with that…you killed an innocent girl for £20 she doesn’t get the opportunity of a second chance so why should you.’

Agreeing, another added: ‘Yes I feel sorry for Matthew he’s a product of a huge amount of childhood trauma but he’s killed a young woman for £20 and then gone on to cause that poor family trauma. Sorry it’s a no for me.’ 

Parole is aired on Monday on BBC 2 at 9pm. 

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