IAN SIMMS: Closer to freedom

Ian Simms
Ian Simms
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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.”

TIMELINE OF RELATED ARTICLES:

Ian Simms held for the murder of Helen McCourt

Ian Simms held for the murder of Helen McCourt

January 2016 Simms could be set free today

January 2016 Murderer’s new bid for freedom nears

December 2015 Mum’s bid to stop killer’s release

June 2014 Mum pins hope on ‘last best chance’

October 2013 Police exhume grave in hunt for Helen McCourt

October 2013 History of Helen McCourt murder

February 2010 New hope in McCourt case after body find