AN INFAMOUS murderer who was told he would die in prison could soon be freed after a High Court judge scrapped his "life means life" tariff.
Sex-crazed killer Anthony Entwistle, of Thwaites Road, Oswaldtwistle, was handed a life sentence in March 1988 for the murder of Blackburn schoolgirl Michelle Calvy after picking her up on a canal towpath.
The 16-year-old virgin was strangled while being raped before her body was dumped at a Tockholes beauty spot in April 1987.
The new High Court ruling means that Entwistle could be eligible for parole in 2012, once he has completed his mandatory 25 years behind bars.
Entwistle, now 59, had served prison sentences for three rapes before he murdered Michelle, just weeks after being released from a seven-year stretch.
At the end of his trial at Preston Crown Court the judge told Entwistle, then 38, that he would die in prison.
He is one of only 35 murderers who have ever been told they will never be released, including the Black Panther Donald Neilson and Moors Murderer Ian Brady.
At a hearing last week High Court judge Mr Justice Davis said: "This was an appalling crime, not only by reference to its own dreadful circumstances but also by reference to the antecedent history of the applicant.
"The question of dangerousness, and whether it can ever be safe to release Entwistle, is a matter for the parole board. I share the concerns that it may never be safe to release him.
"Nevertheless, for the purposes solely of retribution and deterrence I do not think it right that a whole life tariff be imposed."
During his trial Entwistle denied murdering the pretty youngster, saying it had all been a terrible accident.
But the jury of five men and seven women took only just over an hour to find him guilty and the trial judge, Mr Justice Rose, told him: "You are now 38 and it seems to me that you are likely to be a menace to young women for many years to come."
He added: "I do not doubt that you killed Michelle in the furtherance of rape.
"This is the latest and most horrifying in an appalling catalogue of attacks on young women you have carried out during the brief periods you have been at liberty in the last 15 years."