The Parole Board will review its decision to release the man convicted of murdering Helen McCourt.

The announcement comes after the Justice Secretary today called for the Board to reconsider its decision to free Helen’s Law killer Ian Simms.

The former pub landlord, convicted of murdering Helen McCourt, 22, in 1988, has repeatedly refused to reveal the location of his victim’s body.

A Parole Board spokesperson said: “An application under the reconsideration mechanism has been received from the Secretary of State for the case of Ian Simms and will be considered by the Parole Board as soon as possible.”

Simms will now have time to make his own representations about why he should be released.

Helen McCourt who was murdered by pub landlord Ian Simms 25 years ago

The spokesperson added: “The other party to the case (which in this case is Ian Simms) has seven days to submit a response to a reconsideration request.

“A judicial member of the Parole Board who is trained to carry out reconsideration work will then make a decision, which will usually take a further two weeks.”

The Justice Secretary, the Right Hon Robert Buckland QC, intervened in the case today.

The legal mechanism to reconsider Parole Board decisions was introduced on July 22, 2019.

Marie McCourt, mother of Helen McCourt, has voiced her anger

This now gives both parties in a parole case the right to apply to the Parole Board for a decision to be reconsidered. It applies to parole decisions made on or after July 22, 2019.

The two parties to a parole review are the Secretary of State for Justice and the prisoner.

They can make a request directly to the Parole Board, while victims and the public can make a request via the Secretary of State.

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