IAN SIMMS: Closer to freedom

Ian Simms
Ian Simms

KILLER Ian Simms could be back on the streets by the spring, his victim’s devastated mother discovered today.

Marie McCourt said the phone call she had always dreaded came on Wednesday afternoon as she drove alone near her home town of Billinge near to where her daughter Helen was last seen alive 28 years ago this month.

Helen McCourt

Helen McCourt

The parole board has recommended that Simms be moved to an open prison within weeks, which could in turn lead to him being allowed out on escorted day release three months later and full release on licence thereafter.

The Ministry of Justice stresses it has yet to approve the move although the victim’s mother says it is unusual for MOJ officials to block the recommendations. However, Mrs McCourt was hoping to get Home Secretary Theresa May to intervene.

Mrs McCourt was informed by probation that it was possible that former pub landlord Simms, 59, could be a free man within months.

It means 72-year-old Mrs McCourt’s worst nightmare could come true - that the man convicted for her daughter’s murder without revealing the whereabouts of her body would walk free without disclosing his secret.

I am heartbroken and devastated. How can this man be safe to release?

Marie McCourt

And Mrs McCourt today voiced fears for all those who have spoken against Simms who could soon be in danger, including herself.

She said: “I am heartbroken and devastated.

“How can this man be safe to release? He sent me a threatening letter from prison, he has never admitted his crime, shown remorse or disclosed where Helen’s body is.”


Ian Simms held for the murder of Helen McCourt

Ian Simms held for the murder of Helen McCourt

Notorious murderer Simms could be set free today - January 2016

Murderer’s new bid for freedom nears - January 2016

100,000 show support for Helen’s law - December 2015

Mum’s agony over delayed parole review - July 2015

Mum calls for law change as killer’s freedom bid halts - May 2015

Mum silenced on killer’s plea - March 2014

Police hunt churchyard for remains of Helen McCourt - October 2013

Mum’s plea to killer 25 years on - February 2013

Mum to meet daughter’s killer - July 2008

Marie McCourt in TV documentary - April 2008

Psychic: ‘I know where Helen is’ - June 2005