IAN SIMMS: Closer to freedom

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

Ian Simms
Ian Simms

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.

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.

Helen McCourt

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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.

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.

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Ian Simms held for the murder of Helen McCourt

“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.”

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Helen McCourt

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Ian Simms held for the murder of Helen McCourt

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