A MURDERER who served over 18 years in prison after stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her work colleague has been approved for release after a review.

The Parole Board has deemed that Barrow’s Jason Alan Pugh no longer represents a ‘significant risk’ to the public after he brutally murdered Jennifer Garratt and Anthony McIntee, at her home in Frome Road, Walney.

Pugh, aged 32 at the time of conviction, was convicted of the murders of Miss Garrett and Mr McIntee in June 2001 at Preston Crown Court.

Pugh was involved in a relationship with 34-year-old Miss Garrett for two-and-a-half years, but the pair were separated before her tragic death in September 2000.

Miss Garrett had been on a night out with friends and returned to her home with Mr McIntee, a 22-year-old nurse, in the early hours of the morning.

Pugh, who had been drinking, left a series of messages on her answer phone and went to her home when she failed to respond.

At trial it was revealed how he burst into 34-year-old Miss Garratt’s Frome Road home on Walney at around 4.20am on Saturday 30 in a rage after their relationship ended.

He knocked the mother-of-one unconscious and pummelled Mr McIntee, 22, into the corner of the settee.

Pugh then went into the kitchen and grabbed two knives which he used to stab the remaining life from the semi-unconscious workmates.

Before leaving the house, he deleted messages on her answer phone and wiped fingerprints from surfaces, but called 999 around 90 minutes later to confess.

At his trial, he claimed he had acted in self-defence or been provoked into violence, but was disbelieved and convicted by the jury.

Following the convictions the trial judge, Mr Justice Penry-Davey, said the offence was mitigated by the fact that the killings were “not premeditated or in cold blood” and that he had reported his own crime and admitted killing the couple.

In 2002, the then Home Secretary David Blunkett ordered that he serve at least 18 years, which he completed in October 2018 and has now been approved for release.

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: “The Parole Board has directed the release of Jason Alan Pugh following an oral hearing in July 2019.

“Parole Board decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release. This is done with great care and public safety is the number one priority.”

It is now for the Ministry of Justice to manage his release from prison. A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “We understand this will be a distressing decision for the families of Jennifer Garratt and Anthony McIntee and our thoughts remain with them.

“Like all life sentence prisoners released by the independent Parole Board, Jason Alan Pugh will be on licence for the remainder of his life, subject to strict conditions and faces a return to prison should he fail to comply.”