Jailed killer who sexually abused and mutilated girl, 15, one step closer to release

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A SADISTIC sex-fiend who sexually abused, mutilated and murdered a 15-year-old schoolgirl almost 25 years ago has won a court victory in his battle for freedom.

Naomi Hopkins was killed in 1995

KILLER: Edwin Hopkins is serving life for the murder of Naomi Smith in 1995 (Pic: PA)

Edwin Hopkins is serving life for the brutal murder of Naomi Smith in 1995.

The teenager was last seen leaving her home in Nuneaton, West Midlands, to post a letter for her mum.

Her body was found by her dad and a school friend in a nearby play area later that evening.

Hopkins had violently sexually assaulted her, before slitting her throat.

Edwin Hopkins was aged 20 when he was jailed

REMORSELESS Hopkins has never admitted he is guilty (Pic: PA)

The evil pervert was convicted of her murder in January 1997 and has been held as  a Category A  prisoner— the highest security risk — throughout his sentence.

Hopkins, who was aged 20 when he killed Naomi, has never accepted he is guilty.

Now Judge Mark Gosnel has ruled Hopkins can have a full oral hearing relating to his bid to be moved to an open prison — which would move him a step closer to being released.

Brian Smith found his daughter's body

PA (Pic: DEVASTATED: Catherine and Brian Smith the parents of murdered schoolgirl Naomi Smith at a press conference )

Judge Gosnell highlighted the killer’s “exemplary” behaviour behind bars and said he had not been given a fair hearing.

Hopkins was ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years behind bars before he would be considered for parole.

Despite this tariff expiring in 2013 authorities have repeatedly refused to downgrade his Category A rating.

Hopkins claims this is because he is still protesting his innocence and he is in an unfair Catch-22 situation.

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