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Helen McCourt murderer Ian Simms set to be released

Helen McCourt murderer Ian Simms set to be released

Helen McCourt was murdered by Ian Simms in Billinge, Merseyside, in 1988
A man jailed over the 1988 murder of Helen McCourt is to be released after an appeal to keep him behind bars was rejected.Ian Simms, 63, was convicted of killing the 22-year-old, who disappeared in Merseyside in 1988, but has never revealed where he hid her remains.In November, her family had appealed against the Parole Board's recommendation for him to be released.But the Ministry of Justice has now been ordered to free Simms.The Parole Board said it was "satisfied that imprisonment is no longer necessary for the protection of the public".
Simms, who never admitted his guilt, killed Ms McCourt as she walked home from work in Liverpool. Her mother Marie previously said she was left shaking with anger after receiving a call from her victim liaison officer at the Parole Board confirming Simms' likely release."I was just in shock. I'm still trying to deal with it. I'm horrified by it, I'm horrified by it. This man is a danger," she said.
Ian Simms, pictured here in 1988, was jailed for murder
Ms McCourt has urged the government to introduce Helen's Law, legislation that would deny parole to killers who do not disclose their victims' remains.The bill recently ran out of time, when the general election was called.Simms was denied release at a hearing in 2016, but was later transferred to an open prison "due to progress made", where he had "followed the rules" when granted temporary release.Mrs McCourt has described not knowing the whereabouts of her daughter's body as "torture".A Parole Board spokesman said: "The Parole Board has decided that the original decision to release Ian Simms should stand, after considering a reconsideration application from the Secretary of State."Whilst the Parole Board has every sympathy with Helen McCourt's family, if the board is satisfied that imprisonment is no longer necessary for the protection of the public, they are legally obliged to direct release."
Liverpool
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