Helen McCourt: Victim's mum begs killer to locate remains

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Marie McCourt after Parole Board hearingImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Marie McCourt said the election had put her campaign "back to square one"

The mother of murdered Helen McCourt has called on her killer to end the "torture" and reveal once and for all where he hid her body.

Marie McCourt, from St Helens, told Ian Simms: "Then you can look forward to a day of being released."

Mrs McCourt spoke after giving evidence at a Parole Board hearing where a panel will consider whether to release him.

The Parole Board is expected to make a decision on Simms' release within the next two weeks.

Simms was jailed for life in 1989 and told he would have to serve at least 16 years before he could paroled.

Mrs McCourt has pleaded with the murderer to disclose the whereabouts of her daughter's body ever since his conviction for murdering the insurance clerk who vanished on her way home from work to Billinge in 1988.

The pub landlord, who was convicted by a jury on overwhelming DNA evidence of the 22-year-old's abduction and murder, has always maintained his innocence.

"To lose a loved one to murder and never be able to lay them to rest is an unimaginable torture," said Mrs McCourt.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Ian Simms, seen here in 1988, was jailed for murder

"I hope and pray the parole judges will listen to my plea and that of my son, Michael.

"And I urge Ian Simms please, please do the right thing, end this torture... then you also can look forward to a day of being released."

Mrs McCourt has campaigned to keep Simms in jail until Helen is found. She wants the law to deny killers parole if they refused to reveal the location of their victim's remains.

The Prisoners (Disclosure Of Information About Victims) Bill, known as Helen's Law, ran out of time when Parliament was dissolved.

Mrs McCourt said the election put her back to "square one" and risked Simms' release.

She added: "I urge the new government to stop this torture and introduce Helen's Law as soon as possible."

Parole Board guidance already says offenders who withhold information may still pose a risk to the public and could face longer in prison.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Helen McCourt was murdered by Ian Simms in Billinge, Merseyside, in 1988

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