Mother loses court review

A mother who attended a court hearing in regard to over-turning the review of a parole board decision to free her daughter’s killer has failed in her bid.

Mother loses court review: Her 22-year-old daughter was murdered over 30 years ago and the man was convicted of the killing. Ian Simms, a former pub landlord, was convicted of the murder of Helen McCourt. He refuses to reveal where her body is.

Marie McCourt was appealing against a parole board hearing in November 2019. It ruled Simms should be released on license.

Mr Justice Chamberlain and Lady Justice Macur considered Mrs McCourt’s judicial review via a virtual court in July. Both ruled against it on Tuesday.

Their hearing heard that Helen, an insurance clerk from Billinge in Merseyside, was murdered in February 1988. She was on her way home from work.

In March 1989 Simms was found guilty of her abduction and murder after a trial took place at Liverpool Crown Court. Later Simms was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 16 years to be served.

Mother loses court review

Although he denied all charges against him, overwhelming DNA evidence proved his guilt. McCourt and her husband, John Sandwell, have campaigned tirelessly to keep Simms in prison. Waiting to see if he provides information as to the whereabouts of Helen’s body.

A spokesman for the parole board said after Tuesday’s hearing that “the Parole Board has immense sympathy for families of victims who have never been found and recognizes the pain and anguish they have endured”.

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