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  1. ITV Report

Review to be held into decision to release convicted killer

A decision to allow the release of Ian Simms, convicted of murdering Helen McCourt, is to be reviewed by the Parole Board after a request by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland.

Last month the Parole Board said Simms had 'met the test for release'

Simms, now 63, abducted and murdered 22-year-old Helen in Billinge, St Helens in 1988.

Helen McCourt was murdered by Ian Simms in 1988. Credit: PA Images

Simms, who was convicted by a jury on overwhelming DNA evidence of the 22-year-old's abduction and murder and has always maintained his innocence.

Miss McCourt's mother, Marie, has been campaigning for Simms to remain in prison, as he has never revealed where he hid Helen's body.

Mrs McCourt has relentlessly campaigned to ensure Ian Simms isn't released. Credit: ITV News

"After carefully considering the details of this case, we believe there is an arguable case to meet the threshold for reconsideration.

"An application has now been made to the independent Parole Board to have the case reconsidered.

"It is now for the Parole Board to decide whether the threshold is met for the decision to be formally reconsidered."

– Ministry of Justice spokesman