Helen’s Law: Better late than never!

Tuesday 09th July 2019 16:09 EDT

So often criminals jailed for serious offences like murders, keep taunting their victims’ families while behind bars. Many even refuse to reveal the location where they have hidden, buried their victims’ bodies, depriving grieving family members to put to rest their beloved ones and move on.

While criminals who refuse to refund stolen money, mostly hidden in overseas accounts under false names or converted into gold bars and precious jewels, either buried safely or distributed within trusted friends and family members, face lengthy sentences, this is not the case for murderers who refuse to revel the fate of their victims.

Marie McCourt who lost her 22 year old daughter Helen in 1988, murdered by Ian Simms, a pub landlord, while she was walking back to home from work, has been campaigning tirelessly to introduce a law that if a murderer fail to cooperate, to reveal final resting place of their victims, they should not be eligible for parole, the Parole Board must consider this cruelty, taunting by the prisoner when reviewing offender’s eligibility for early release.

This legislation, known as “Helen’s Law” was passed way back but still not put on the statute book, will now get government’s support to legalise Helen’s Law as soon as possible. Although prison sentence is meant to educate and rehabilitate prisoners, make them ready for reintegration on release, that is the main aim throughout the Western world, grieving families’ pain and heartache should be taken into consideration when these criminals are seeking early release. After all it is in their hands to cooperate and gain the goodwill of the Parole Board to get early release for good behaviour.

Kumudini Valambia      

By email

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