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Helen McCourt: Law change plea over killers who refuse to say where victims are

Helen McCourt Image copyright McCourt family
Image caption Helen McCourt disappeared near her home in Billinge on 9 February 1988

The law should be changed so convicted killers who do not reveal where their victims' bodies are cannot be set free, the mother of a murdered woman says.

Marie McCourt's daughter Helen, 22, vanished near her home in Billinge, near St Helens, in 1988.

Ian Simms was convicted of her murder, but has never said where her body is.

Mrs McCourt has launched a petition to bring in a law in her daughter's name to ensure killers are not released without disclosing the information.

She said being denied a funeral for her daughter had caused "unimaginable suffering".

She added: "For almost three decades Simms has refused to reveal the whereabouts of Helen's body - denying us the chance to grant her the dignity of a funeral and resting place."

Image caption Marie McCourt said being denied a funeral for her daughter had caused "unimaginable suffering"

Mrs McCourt is asking Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May directly to "acknowledge the pain and distress caused to the families of missing murder victims", by ensuring killers who withhold information about the whereabouts of their victims are never set free.

Two other mothers whose children were killed and whose bodies have not been found are also supporting Mrs McCourt's campaign.

Jean Taylor's daughter daughter Chantel was killed in 2004 in Birkenhead, Merseyside; while Joan Morson's son Paul, from St Helens, Merseyside, was killed in 2011.

Pub landlord Simms was convicted of murder after blood and an earring identical to one Helen had were found in the boot of his car.

The jury agreed she had been attacked at his pub, The George and Dragon, in Billinge.

He is serving a life sentence and has a parole hearing in January.

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