STAR readers say they are "heartbroken" and "disgusted" following the news that Ian Simms is to be released, despite never revealing the whereabouts of her body.

The decision to release the 63-year-old on licence follows a Parole Board hearing that took place a fortnight ago.

Pub landlord Simms abducted and murdered insurance clerk Helen McCourt, 22, from Billinge on her way home from work in February 1988.

He denied being responsible but a jury at Liverpool Crown Court convicted him amid overwhelming DNA evidence, despite Helen’s body never being found.

He was jailed for life and told he would have to serve at least 16 years before he could be considered for parole.

Simms has gone on to serve more than three decades in jail. This was his seventh review by the Parole Board and since 2016 he had been in an open prison.

After four years fighting for law change so killers who will not reveal the whereabouts of their victims bodies should remain behind bars, it was announced that there was Government support for Helen's Law and it was due to go through Parliament next year.

St Helens Star:

Ian Simms

Hundreds of Star readers have reacted to the news online.

Lesley Hill, said: "Gutted for Marie and all of Helen's family who have had to deal with the loss of Helen for all these years whilst never knowing where Helens body has been hidden.

"Only this evil man who knows where that is. How he can be released without disclosing this information to allow Helen to be given a proper burial and peaceful resting place is just incomprehensible?

"It was the least that the parole board should have considered before releasing him.

"I really hope that when he gets out he constantly has to look over his shoulder."

Kev Dixon added: "And to think Helens law was so close.

"Hopefully it will get passed. Such a sad story"

Syl Simms said: "This is a slap in the face for Marie all the work she has done for this to happen.

"On the positive side Helen's memory will live on when the new law is brought in. May she rest in peace."

Dorothy Thompson said: "Disgraceful this lady is wonderful the way she has fought for her daughter; what a complete farce he is a murderer he should not be let out until he tells where she is.

"Bless Helen's Mum as this is so cruel"

Joan Halliday said: "If it was their daughter I think the board would come to a different decision, bloody disgusting. Helens poor family the pain goes on for them"

Martin Blondel added: "This is absolutely disgusting!

"Thoughts are with Marie and #HelensLaw I know you have worked hard on this.

"@ConorMcGinn surely this cannot be right."