MARIE McCourt has launched an online GoFundMe page to pay for legal action at the High Court after learning that her daughter's killer is to be released.

Ian Simms murdered Helen McCourt 31 years ago near her home in Billinge, but despite never revealing the location of her body he is set to be released from prison.

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

A Parole Board Decision Summary stated that after taking into account all the circumstances and evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Simms met the test for release.

In response Marie is looking into options, and has launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds to pay her legal team to take this matter to the High Court.

She said: "I have been staggered and overwhelmed at the outpouring of support I have received since the Parole Board’s decision to release my daughter’s killer was announced.

“My legal team is now considering what avenues are open to me to stop the release; one such option is to launch a judicial review of the decision in the High Court.

“Taking action could be expensive – which is why I am launching a crowdfunding appeal.

“The Parole Board has acknowledged that Ian Simms, who murdered my daughter in February 1988, will never reveal the whereabouts of her body – yet still think him fit to be released.

“What message is this giving to other killers who have acted in this way? Stay silent, continue torturing the family, and you’ll still walk free?

St Helens Star:

Marie McCourt will not give up her fight for justice

“I am making a stand not just for Helen - but for every other missing murder victim out there. I want to ensure no other family goes through this ordeal.

“For more than 31 years I have never received a penny in legal aid – and have always paid my own costs in attending hearings, appeals and parole applications. But, on this occasion, I cannot do this alone. I really need your help.

“I am appealing to everyone who has backed my campaign for Helen’s Law to continue their support – and will be eternally grateful for any help given.

"Let’s make Helen’s Law apply for my Helen. Thank you.”

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.

Yesterday Helen's mum Marie McCourt, who has fought to keep Simms behind bars until he reveals the whereabouts of her remains, learned of his release.

She has campaigned for four years to have a new law brought in that would prevent killers who do not reveal the location of their victim's bodies being released.

St Helens Star:

Ian Simms

This is expected to pass through Parliament and be brought into the statute books in Spring 2020, but Simms would be out before then.

To view the GoFundMe, please visit: