FROM ST Helen’s Star. December 2 2016.
By Paula Morris.
MP CONOR MCGINN CALLS UPON JUSTICE SECRETARY LIZ TRUSS TO MEET MARIE MCCOURT RE HELEN’S LAW
MP Conor McGinn is calling for a meeting with Justice Secretary Liz Truss in his fight to introduce Helen's Law. The proposed law would deny parole to murderers who refuse to reveal the location of their victims' remains.
The St Helens North MP is spearheading the Helen's Law campaign at Westminster on behalf of constituent Marie McCourt. Marie lost her daughter, Helen McCourt, when she was killed at the age of 22 by former pub landlord Ian Simms. Helen, who was a barmaid, disappeared near her home in Billinge on February 9, 1988.
Mr McGinn put forward a Bill to introduce Helen's Law in the House of Commons in October and pressed the Government to join more than 400,000 people who have already supported his proposals by signing a petition. He has now called for a meeting with Justice Secretary Liz Truss to seek Government support to get justice for the McCourt family and others who have endured a similar ordeal over the fate of their loved ones. Mr McGinn said: "My constituent Marie McCourt fears she could die without ever knowing the whereabouts of her daughter. "She is suffering a terrible injustice. Helen's Law would mean that killers would not get parole unless they revealed what they had done with their victim's body. "That's why I have now asked if the Justice Secretary will meet Marie and myself to discuss how we can finally get the justice that Helen's family deserve."
"I hope that Justice Secretary Liz Truss is closely studying the case and sees the courage and quiet dignity of Marie - and supports our plan for Helen's Law." In response to Mr McGinn's request, Leader of the House of Commons David Lidington has promised to contact the Ministry of Justice. Helen's Law would mean that if a killer refused to give information to reveal the location of a victim's body, they would not be considered eligible for parole and remain in jail. Effectively, it would mean a whole life tariff for murderers who refuse to disclose the location of their victims and enable their remains to be recovered to give families a chance to pay their last respects. The proposed law would also see rarely used common law offences regarding preventing the burial of a body or obstructing a coroner in the burial of a body used automatically in murder trials without a body.