Mum ordered to pay daughter's killer £40,000 after trying to stop his release from jail

A MUM has been told to pay her daughter’s killer £40,000 after she took legal action to try to stop his release from jail.

Marie McCourt said Ian Simms, 64, should not have been considered for parole until he disclosed where Helen’s body was.

Former pub landlord Simms strangled Helen, 22, as she walked home from work in Billinge, Merseyside, in 1988.

Ministers last year agreed to adopt a Helen’s Law — no parole for killers who refuse to say where a body is — but Simms was let out on licence a month before the legislation was introduced in March.

She argued that Simms, who was convicted of murder on DNA fingerprint evidence in 1989, should have remained in jail.

She took the case to the High Court which ruled the Parole Board had adopted a “balanced approach” on Simms.


Judges refused Marie permission to challenge their decision and said she must pay towards his legal costs.

She has only days to contest the ruling.

But Marie, 77, said she now lacked the “energy, stamina or funds” to carry on her court battle.

She said: “I don’t believe I can take this legal fight much further. It’s almost killing me.

“To carry on would just put my family and everyone else through the wringer again.”

Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy said Helen’s family should not have to pay Simms a penny.

He added: “The Government should recognise the exceptionally tragic circumstances here and apply some common sense.”

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