Killers may never be freed if they do not reveal location of victims' bodies
Murderers who refuse to disclose the whereabouts of victims' bodies could be jailed indefinitely under a proposed new law.
Justice Secretary David Gauke has told Marie McCourt - whose daughter Helen's body was never recovered after she was murdered by pub landlord Ian Simms in 1998 - that his team are looking into preparing legislation to support this move.
"Helen's Law" - as it will be known - would give parole boards the autonomy to refuse release applications from "no body" killers.
McCourt launched the initiative back in 2015, when it was revealed that Helen's killer was being relocated to an open prison. She hopes the law will be enacted in time to halt his release.
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"This is a huge step forward for the campaign which has been supported by so many people," McCourt said after meeting Gauke earlier this week. "This is not just for Helen but for every single missing murder victim out there and their families. The tide is finally turning towards supporting victims rather than the rights of criminals. Seeing a new law unveiled in Helen’s name will be a very proud, poignant moment. Her death, and all this pain, would count for something and make a difference."
"We live in hope. Losing a child is the most painful thing a parent can endure. But knowing your loved one is out there, somewhere, alone, is like an open wound that never heals. You can empathise and sympathise but you will never know how tortuous this is until you live through it yourself. Now, they will be bound by law to consider the terrible toll that crimes like these take on innocent families."
Marie and her husband, John Sandwell, were joined at parliament talks by their MP, Conor McGinn - Labour for St. Helens North
"The government must now match their sentiments with action," he asserted.