Successive Home Secretaries have upheld Neilson’s whole life tariff, and he has never sought to appeal his conviction.
In November 2002, the Home Secretary’s power to set minimum terms was removed by the European Court, so there was the possibility that Donald Neilson, who was in good health at the time, may have become eligible for release in 2006 as he approached his 70th birthday, having served a 30 year term.
But in 2008 High Court judge Mr Justice Teare ruled that Neilson should never be released and that he should die in prison.
Neilson died in hospital on 18 December 2011 after being taken there from Norwich Prison whilst suffering from breathing difficulities.