Gwynne Evans and Peter Allen
Gwynne Evans (left) and Peter Allen were the last men to be executed in the UKWiki Commons

The son of the last man to be hanged in a British prison has said he condones bringing back the death penalty for certain crimes with "irrevocable" proof. Mark Price's father Peter Allen, 21, and his accomplice Gwynne Evans, 26, were hanged in August 1964 for the murder of John West.

Former soldier Mark, from northern England, was just three at the time when he accompanied his mother, Mary, his father, Peter, on a 146-mile journey in a stolen Ford Perfect from Liverpool to Seaton, Cumbria, to demand money from van driver John West, 53. But after he refused the two men bludgeoned and stabbed him to death.

Both men were convicted of murder after Mary stood as a prosecution witness and they were sentenced to death by hanging a year before the death penalty was officially suspended. The campaign to abolish the punishment was intensifying and protesters congregated at Walton Prison in Liverpool to plead for reprieves.

In November 1965 Labour MPs voted to suspend hanging, which was passed on a free vote in the House of Commons. Four years later the death penalty was abolished completely.

Now the 54-year-old Mark says he believes that terrorists and extremists should executed for their crimes. He told The Mirror: "I actually believe in the death penalty and that should be brought back in certain circumstances where there is irrevocable proof.

"For example the Yorkshire Ripper – what is that man doing languishing in jail? Ian Brady? You've got the guy who killed the squaddie Lee Rigby in London in front of everybody hacked the guy to death – why are they languishing in prison?

"There's no question of guilt there. They took a life for no other reason than religion. That's no reason to take a life. I believe if you take a life in those circumstances, you forfeit your own.

"Ian Huntley, Dennis Nilsen, The Yorkshire Ripper – those are people with the sole intent to kill and I do think that they should have their lives taken in return."

The father-of-four's mother Mary ended up marrying his dad's best friend Billy Price – and he took his name believing that he was his dad. Aged 13 he heard people talking about his dad being hanged and his mother told him the truth.

He added: "But then they do about 15 and they're let out of prison – what right do they have to a life? What's to say when they are released from prison they are not going to do it again?

"I believe the death penalty would make people think twice."