My sister was executed by her monster husband who killed her four kids – he must never get out of jail

A MONSTER husband who murdered his wife and her four children must never be released from jail, her heartbroken brother says.

Lee Ford bludgeoned Lesley Ford, 36, with a rounders bat then strangled her at their home in Carnkie, Cornwall, in 2000.

He also garrotted Craig Tranter, 13, Steven Tranter, 14, Anne-Marie Tranter, 16, and Sarah-Jane Tranter, 17, in the horrific 24-hour killing spree.

Lesley's brother Peter Wyatt, 55, now fears the killer will soon be free to roam the streets.

Ford was given five life sentences for murder in May 2001 with a minimum term of 27 years – meaning he is not eligible for parole until October 2027.

But he could be referred to the Parole Board for a pre-tariff review in 2025 that will examine whether he is suitable to be moved to an open prison ahead of his potential release.

Peter, who lives near Blandford in Dorset, said: “It’s not long enough.

“I don’t see how he is fit to be released – how is anyone after killing five people, four innocent kids?

“He has never shown any remorse, from what we’ve been told about, since the day he went into prison.

“He is going to be 60 when he gets out. He has still got a life and could make a life, it’s not fair.

“We have not had a life since, it is on our minds and hurting all the time – we have suffered more than him.”

Peter and his ex-wife Nicki Budden, 49, now started a petition calling for him to “stay in prison for the rest of his life”.

The former couple fear Ford will "come after" them if he is released from prison.

Nicki said: “From my point of view, I’m quite frightened because when this blew up it was Peter who reported Leslie and the children missing and started the investigation.

“How do I know he won’t come after us and our child?

“He knows our house, he has been there.”


Ford carried out the bloodbath after Lesley discovered he was involved in a controlling, sexual relationship with her eldest daughter Sarah-Jane.

He had become openly and forcefully" jealous of the teen's friendships with boys of her own age.

The fiend used a 2ft rope to garrotte his wife then her four children, who he raised for 11 years, before hiding their bodies in a woodshed.

Ford then spun a web of lies to cover up his grim crimes – telling neighbours Lesley had left him with her four children from a previous marriage.

Their bodies were discovered more than four weeks later after Peter raised the alarm.

He said: “My sister actually trusted him.

“He brought those kids up for 11 years and then killed them.

“He was their father in some ways, their person they trusted to keep them safe.

“And I can’t see how the justice system works that way where a stranger killing is worse than killing someone you know, I think it should be the other way round if anything.

“It would be different if it was a fit of rage but it wasn’t.

“He beat my sister with a baseball bat and then went and made her a cup of tea and some aspirins for her headache and she was sitting in the bedroom in the corner bleeding.

“Then he went out to the garage, found a piece of rope and killed her.”


Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected].

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available every day from 10am-6pm.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

Prisoners serving life sentences can be referred to the Parole Board two years before their tariff is due to expire to assess if they should be moved to an open jail.

Just one in four are deemed low enough risk to be released.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “Our sympathy and thoughts remain with [the] family.

“While sentences are decided by independent judges, offenders are only freed if the Parole Board agrees they can be safely managed in the community and are subject to strict licence conditions including who they can see and where they can go.”

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