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Killer bids for freedom, saying he was provoked
NOTORIOUS killer Albert Dryden, who gunned down a council officer in a planning row, is making a bid for freedom by claiming he was provoked.
The 69-year-old, who has spent 17 years in prison, shot and killed Harry Collinson after he was told the council intended to demolish the bungalow he had built in Butsfield, near Consett in County Durham.
Dryden has written a 6,500- word dossier detailing his claims that he was provoked.
He says he has supporters all over the world who have raised £47,000 to help him fight his case.
He said: “At the original trial, we ran a defence of diminished responsibility, but we have not yet tried provocation.
“I’ve been told I’ve got an 82 per cent chance of success.
“If I won my appeal and the conviction was overturned, I’m in line for a £4m payout.
“Manslaughter on the grounds of provocation carries a maximum of five years, so I will get £100 a day for all the extra time I have done.”
Dryden said that the judge at his trial set a minimum sentence of eight years, but he has had four parole applications rejected.
He said: “They don’t want me out. It’s political.
“My next review isn’t until 2010. By that time, I will have been in 19 years and four months.
“I’m so fed up now. I’ve spent all these years believing I would be released because I’ve been a model prisoner.”
His latest bid has angered the family of his victim.
Mr Collinson’s brother, Roy, said: “Dryden should have been hanged.
“Failing that, he should never be let out of prison. The man’s mad and I believe he’d kill again if he was released.”
The murder followed a lengthy row over a house Dryden had built without planning permission.
Mr Collinson, Derwentside Council’s chief planning officer, had arrived to serve demolition papers and was accompanied by journalists when Dryden pulled out a revolver.
He opened fire and hit 46- year-old Mr Collinson twice in the chest. Then, as the father- of-two lay dying in a ditch, Dryden blasted him through the head.
The killer then shot and wounded a police officer and a television reporter, before he was finally arrested by armed officers.