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Missing woman

(25 Posts)
PirateSmile Mon 14-Dec-15 17:26:24

Helen McCourt went missing in 1988 and her body has never been found. The man who was convicted of her murder is now eligible for parole. Helen's mother has campaigned for the murderer to be refused parole unless he reveals the whereabouts of Helen's body.
The justice minister has said he'll meet with Mrs. McCourt but she fears this meeting may well be too late and the man who killed her daughter will walk free from prison.

I think that there should be more pressure on the Government to take this case seriously. I hope others agree.

OddSocksHighHeels Mon 14-Dec-15 19:16:07

That's awful. Depending on where the body is though it might not be possible to get it back even if he can be certain of an exact location. It's a long time.

PirateSmile Mon 14-Dec-15 19:42:13

I think he could at the very least give an indication, if not the precise location.

It's appalling to think he could be released whilst still withholding the truth.

OddSocksHighHeels Mon 14-Dec-15 19:46:40

He should. And it would be wonderful if they could find the body and allow for a proper burial for her family.

It's still a control thing for him I imagine, he'll be enjoying the fact that he has this "power" over them.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Mon 14-Dec-15 20:10:46

That poor women. Not even getting to lay her daughter to rest. Why does the law pussy foot around these disgusting specimen. He should have been made to tell them where her body was.

nancy75 Mon 14-Dec-15 20:13:48

I think parole should only ever be granted if the person shows suitable regret for what they have done, if he won't tell the family what he did with a body it says to me that he is not really sorry for his crime

LittlestLightOnTheTree Mon 14-Dec-15 20:14:39

How would you 'make him' tell?

Pipestheghost Mon 14-Dec-15 20:16:09

I was reading about this today and I back the families proposing that convicted murderers don't get parole/released until they reveal the location of their victims bodies.
The enduring pain of these families must be awful sad

ajandjjmum Mon 14-Dec-15 20:16:45

You can't make him, but you can with-hold his freedom until he does. Scumbag. I heard the mother interviewed this morning - nearly 30 years of not knowing - my heart went out to her.

PinkSquash Mon 14-Dec-15 20:19:43

I agree to withholding the right to freedom unless they give the location of the body. Although I know that there are genuinely innocent people in prisons who did not do the crime they are convicted of. So I don't know.

I really hope the McCourts get lay Helen to rest and grieve fully.

PirateSmile Mon 14-Dec-15 20:31:58

It's definitely a control thing and he shouldn't even be considered for parole unless he's willing to with the family in locating Helen's body.

The Justice Minister should be speaking to Mrs. McCourt as a matter of urgency. it's atrocious to think she could spend any more time worrying her daughter's killer could be released in the New Year.

stayathomegardener Mon 14-Dec-15 20:33:01

Any online petitions we can sign to support her?

Whoknewitcouldbeso Mon 14-Dec-15 20:36:27

Thing is I imagine he is still maintaining his innocence? If not him then many of these convicted criminals are and they are never going to admit to the crime which means they won't reveal important details such as this.

PirateSmile Mon 14-Dec-15 20:37:09

Good idea stayathomegardener

www.change.org/p/david-cameron-mp-rt-hon-theresa-may-mp-introduce-helen-s-law

PirateSmile Mon 14-Dec-15 20:37:57

That is his choice Whoknewitcouldbeso but why then should he be freed?

BarbarianMum Tue 15-Dec-15 12:32:58

I don't think that people who don't show contrition for their crimes (admitting guilt, assisting the authorities in recovering the body) should be elegible for parole. However, although that would be a good thing in this case, it does truely stuff you up if you are a miscarriage of justice - I can think of several cases where falsely convicted murderers (later clearer on appeal) serve longer than average sentances because they won't admit their "guilt".

I wouldn't support indefinite incarcaration without better safeguards tbh.

DinoSnores Tue 15-Dec-15 17:41:13

I thought that one of the criteria for parole was that they showed remorse for their crime and would be unlikely to reoffend, so hopefully that does mean that her murderer would not be freed.

londonrach Wed 16-Dec-15 20:31:02

1988 isnt that long ago why is he being released as surely life is life and he has murdered someone so should get life. Poor helens mother not being able to bury her. Agree with you op.

prh47bridge Wed 16-Dec-15 21:03:22

He was convicted in 1989. The judge set the minimum tariff at 16 years. He therefore became eligible for parole in 2005. When it has come before the parole board previously he has been refused parole, in part due to his refusal to reveal the location of the body. He continues to maintain his innocence although the evidence against him seems pretty conclusive.

I don't think that people who don't show contrition for their crimes (admitting guilt, assisting the authorities in recovering the body) should be elegible for parole

That is pretty much how it works, although not quite in the way you describe. If you are eligible for parole your case goes to the parole board. You are unlikely to get parole if you do not show contrition.

hesterton Wed 16-Dec-15 21:07:31

What if you were wrongly convicted? It does happen. And then you could never be released because of course you could never say where a body was.

I know it's highly unlikely but it would only need to happen once for it to be a horror piled on a horror.

Vevvie Tue 22-Dec-15 18:28:18

There was overwhelming DNA evidence, which was found even more overwhelming at a later appeal.

prh47bridge Wed 23-Dec-15 13:18:22

In the Helen McCourt case there is no real doubt that the man convicted is guilty of her murder. It is therefore not unreasonable for the parole board to refuse to release him due to his refusal to reveal the location of the body.

I think hesterton was commenting more generally rather than on this particular case. What if this principle was applied to other cases where there is more room for doubt. And she does have a point.

There was a case a while ago where a man was convicted of a sex offence. There was good reason to believe the conviction was unsafe and he continued to protest his innocence. As a result he was not released on parole and was transferred to a secure psychiatric hospital on the grounds that he was delusional, the primary evidence for this being his refusal to admit to the offence. He remained in detention for more than double his sentence.

usernamesandgingerbreads Wed 23-Dec-15 13:33:59

God this was near me and I remember it well. The poor poor mother. I think if there is overwhelming evidence and no doubts then he shouldn't be released if he doesn't say where she is. That said I seem to remember some connection with the canal so it may not be possible sad

abbsismyhero Wed 23-Dec-15 16:26:19

i think in the face of overwhelming evidence their liberty should be withheld until they show the location of the body although the moors murderers really put the family's through it though and i would not like to see a repeat of that they got to go on day trips and "forgot" where they buried them so they got to go out again sad

sunflowerfi Sun 27-Dec-15 22:34:30

I am from the village where this terrible murder occurred. He should not even be considered for parole until he reveals what he did with Helen's body and shows remorse.
However; from what locals say he most likely had others involved and is afraid to implicate them and face the repercussions and is therefore safer inside.

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