A VIGILANTE who killed a gay man he wrongly believed to be a paedophile will have his murder conviction reviewed by top judges.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has referred the sentence of Christopher Hunnisett, now referred to only by the initial C Hunnisett, for killing Peter Bick in Bexhill in 2011.

A judge said Hunnisett was an “extremely dangerous man” who “may well kill again” if released in the foreseeable future.

The judge said: “The time may never come when this defendant is considered safe to be released.”

But now, Hunnisett’s life sentence could change after being admitted to hospital in 2018.

The CCRC says a new verdict could be manslaughter by diminished responsibility as Hunnisett may have been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

It was after the then 28-year-old smashed the supermarket worker Mr Bick over the head with a hammer and strangled him with a shoelace.

Hunnisett, who, it is understood, now identifies as a woman, was cleared of a separate murder in 2001 after a retrial revealed that 81-year-old vicar Rev Ronald Glazebrook had sexually abused him.

Four months after his release Hunnisett created a “hit list” to rid the world of paedophiles, and made Mr Bick his top target.

That was despite there being “not a shred of evidence” that Mr Bick was a paedophile.

Mr Bick had instead separated from his partner and used social media and dating sites to meet young men.

Hunnisett pleaded not guilty to the murder, based on loss of control, self-defence and diminished responsibility.

But the jury found the defendant guilty and Hunnisett was jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years.

Hunnisett’s legal team unsuccessfully tried to appeal against the conviction in 2015.

But Hunnisett was transferred to a secure hospital in 2018, and experts suggest the defendant

was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of Mr Bick’s murder.

The commission said: “Having reviewed the case in detail, including having obtained and considered new psychiatric opinion, the Commission has decided to refer the case for appeal.

“The referral is based on new expert evidence suggesting that C Hunnisett was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the killing, that in the Commission’s view raises a real possibility the Court will quash the murder conviction and replace it with one for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

“If the conviction is so replaced, the likely outcome is that the prison sentence for murder will be replaced with a prison sentence with a direction that C Hunnisett be detained in hospital.”