Keir Starmer helped to free a dangerous arsonist – and the victim will never forgive him

Sir Keir Starmer has been accused of “devastating” a family after securing the release of an arsonist who firebombed the family of his ex-girlfriend.

During his time as a prominent lawyer – of which he often boasts – Sir Keir helped get the dangerous prisoner released on a legal technicality.

He successfully argued that having served three-quarters of his ten-year sentence, he was now entitled to unconditional release, despite being recalled to prison twice for breaching the terms of his early release.

Paul Stellato, who committed 171 offences, also received around £30,000 in compensation for being unlawfully held in prison and would later be jailed for life in 2018 for attempting to buy hand grenades.

Sir Keir’s legal case – brought in 2006 – also freed 15 other dangerous criminals including a rapist and a satanist who sexually abused children.

Following Mr Stellato’s early release, he continued to harass his ex girlfriend and her family despite them fleeing to Spain to escape his torment.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Wendy Ballard said his release was “devastating for my family” and “left us constantly looking over our shoulder”.

She said: “He was always there, whatever we did, wherever we went, he was there, haunting us.

“We were constantly terrified he would come after us.”

She singled out Sir Keir for damning criticism, saying the damage he did was “devastating”.

She said: “It had a devastating effect on all of us. It shouldn’t have been allowed.”

Wendy went on to say she feels “what Starmer did had a terrible impact on my family. He’s just as much to blame for that as Paul Stellato is”.

She said: “Something should be done to protect families like mine from criminals like Stellato because we’ve had to live with a life sentence, just as much as Stellato has. It shouldn’t be allowed by the legal system.”

Having combed through Sir Keir’s history as a prominent barrister, the Telegraph has calculated that just one in five of his cases saw the Labour leader act for the police, victims of crime of victims of miscarriages of justice.

In 69 out of 84 cases between 1994 and 2007, Sir Keir defenced violent criminals, terror suspects and police killers.

Former Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Keir Starmer is a man who aspires to be the prime minister of our country but in his professional capacity as a criminal lawyer he helped to free from jail serious criminals who posed a threat to society and caused harm to others.

“This raises serious questions about his ability to ensure the public are protected and that dangerous criminals are kept behind bars.”

The latest revelations come amid warnings the next General Election campaign is going to be one of the “dirtiest” in modern history.

The Tories have reportedly compiled a dossier on Sir Keir’s time working as a lawyer, including case studies such as Paul Stellato.

A Labour spokesman said: “Keir Starmer was the country’s most senior prosecutor, serving under Labour and Tory governments.

“During this time, he oversaw the first ever prosecution of al-Qaeda terrorists, the jailing of the airline liquid bomb plotters and racist murderers of Stephen Lawrence.

“With his leadership, charge and conviction rates for sexual offences rose, victims were better supported, and the CPS was positively reformed.

“Of course, as a lawyer he has had to represent people whose views he doesn’t agree with – that’s what the job of a lawyer involves.

“These are simply desperate attacks from a Tory Party that has given up on running the country.”

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