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Thread: Helen McCourt.

  1. #1
    Newbie 00smita's Avatar
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    Default Helen McCourt.

    9th February 2008 sees the 20th anniversary of the disappearance of Helen McCourt,who was last seen on a bus from Liverpool to Billinge. In December 2007, it was thought human remains were found at the site of Billinge Hospital,raising hopes her body had been found, but they turned out to be pieces of plastic and polystyrene.

    Ian Simms, the landlord of her local pub, was subsequently convicted of murder based on forensic evidence which included fibres from his carpet on her coat, her earring in his car, her hair in his pocket. The motive for the murder would appear to be that she had been barred from the pub earlier in the week and had tried to get this overturned causing a violent reaction from Simms, whose wife was about to find out about his extra marital liasons.

    No body has ever been found and Simms remains in prison and has been refused parole as he refuses to say where the body is, on the basis that if he didnt commit the crime he is unable to do so. Investigative journalist Bob Woofinden, who specialises in miscarriages of justice, is convinced of Simms innocence after initially being sceptical, as he believes there are explanations that can explain the forensic links.

    Meanwhile, a mother still yearns for the day she can give her daughter a proper burial. Is Simms a cool psycopath who simply doesnt care or does this case pass doubts on the value of relying solely on forensic evidence


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    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...28/ai_n9630581
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2499991.stm
    http://www.wigantoday.net/wigan-news...tal.3573749.jp
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/m...de/3101853.stm

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    Senior Member GeorgePorgie's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, a mother still yearns for the day she can give her daughter a proper burial.
    Yep,and so does Kieth Bennetts.

    Plenty of murders like the one you have outlined,what makes that so special??

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    Senior Member underworld's Avatar
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    Yes we should never forget her 00smita. A very sad case and it must still be a nightmare for her relatives.

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    Liverpool New Yorker! Ronijayne's Avatar
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    Awful. He may very well be innocent. Many cases are being re-opened here because of all the new ways to get undeniable evidence. Many people have been cleared of crimes they were in jail for
    Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.

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    Diane Louise Diane Louise's Avatar
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    If there is a shadow of doubt it should be re-opened and looked

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    Member Lord Dick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgePorgie View Post
    Yep,and so does Kieth Bennetts.

    Plenty of murders like the one you have outlined,what makes that so special??
    This comment is so unkind. I have the deepest sympathy and the greatest respect for Mrs McCourt's courage. But I must say, as someone experienced in these matters, that forensic evidence is not ABSOLUTE proof of guilt. There have been many miscarriages of justice where it has been found seriously deficient amd where people have been wrongly convicted (e.g. Birmingham Six, Barry George). Moreover, it is hard to believe that if Sims was the killer, he would not have admitted it by now and thereby secured his release on parole.

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    Diane Louise Diane Louise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgePorgie View Post
    Yep,and so does Kieth Bennetts.

    Plenty of murders like the one you have outlined,what makes that so special??
    There are times George when you should either say something nice or don't say anything at all! Why you should say something like that is beyond me!

    Her murdered daughter was special to her and much loved and she has worked so hard to find her without success. My heart goes out to her and all parents of murdered children!

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    Senior Member Kid_Amigo's Avatar
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    Georges comment was a bit abrupt but wouldn't say it was unkind. One or two jumping on the badwagon just to score brownie points is far more crass in IMO.

    To answer Georges abrupt question, from what I know of the case, its fairly local as it took place just outside Wigan and its a quite high profile case as I learnt about the case through a Wiganer in my last job who told me the story, I think he knew the alledged Murderer or at least knew of him. This was before I read anything about it (well it would as I was only a child at the time of the murder).

    OOsmita may very well have a personal interest in the case and on a forum is just a good a place as any. After all, how many Daily Mail reports about an Asylum Seeker in London type stories crop up on here but no one says 'not local news, there is dole cheats in Liverpool as well'.

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    Diane Louise Diane Louise's Avatar
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    The Billinge mother has had an added challenge in coming-to-terms with the tragedy, because the 22-year-old's body has never been found.

    Mrs McCourt revisited the clay pits and canal bank near Hollins Green where so much of the ****ing evidence that snared killer Ian Simms was found.

    Helen vanished on the way home from work on February 9 1988. The following day blood and mud-stained clothing and towels belonging to George and Dragon landlord Simms were found dumped near the waterway.

    Even in those days, when DNA technology was less advanced, scientists concluded there was only a one in 168,000 chance that the blood did not belong to a child of Marie.

    When Simms more recently took his case to the Criminal Cases Review Board to get the samples re-tested, the probability of its not being Helen's blood rocketed to around 9.5 million to one. Dog walker Eric Bannister also told the trial at the time he had seen Simms's car backed up to the water's edge at Hollins Green. Three weeks later a boy out shooting rats found Helen's handbag further along the towpath.

    The area was sealed off and, after a fingertip search, an electric flex, believed to be the murder weapon, was found with Helen's hair in the knot and teeth marks from Simms' dog in the cord itself.

    Mrs McCourt has returned to these places before, as she and family and friends have continued their search for Helen's remains. But while she would of course welcome any new leads from the documentary she is equally keen to show there can be life after such an awful event.

    She said: "Helen's death led to my involvement in Support after Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM) which has helped some 400 families.

    "I want to show there can be positivity. The programme will show what it is like to be given the news but also how you start rebuilding after the media and the attention have gone.

    "Your life does not end, you can go forward but it is something you need to work at, otherwise you succumb to a form of depression and shut yourself away from everyone.

    "Other people need you and there is work to be done. SAMM is testament to that."

    The SAMM Merseyside helpline can be called on 0151 207 6767.

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    Senior Member Kid_Amigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diane Louise View Post
    The Billinge mother has had an added challenge in coming-to-terms with the tragedy, because the 22-year-old's body has never been found.

    Mrs McCourt revisited the clay pits and canal bank near Hollins Green where so much of the ****ing evidence that snared killer Ian Simms was found.

    Helen vanished on the way home from work on February 9 1988. The following day blood and mud-stained clothing and towels belonging to George and Dragon landlord Simms were found dumped near the waterway.

    Even in those days, when DNA technology was less advanced, scientists concluded there was only a one in 168,000 chance that the blood did not belong to a child of Marie.

    When Simms more recently took his case to the Criminal Cases Review Board to get the samples re-tested, the probability of its not being Helen's blood rocketed to around 9.5 million to one. Dog walker Eric Bannister also told the trial at the time he had seen Simms's car backed up to the water's edge at Hollins Green. Three weeks later a boy out shooting rats found Helen's handbag further along the towpath.

    The area was sealed off and, after a fingertip search, an electric flex, believed to be the murder weapon, was found with Helen's hair in the knot and teeth marks from Simms' dog in the cord itself.

    Mrs McCourt has returned to these places before, as she and family and friends have continued their search for Helen's remains. But while she would of course welcome any new leads from the documentary she is equally keen to show there can be life after such an awful event.

    She said: "Helen's death led to my involvement in Support after Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM) which has helped some 400 families.

    "I want to show there can be positivity. The programme will show what it is like to be given the news but also how you start rebuilding after the media and the attention have gone.

    "Your life does not end, you can go forward but it is something you need to work at, otherwise you succumb to a form of depression and shut yourself away from everyone.

    "Other people need you and there is work to be done. SAMM is testament to that."

    The SAMM Merseyside helpline can be called on 0151 207 6767.
    http://www.wigantoday.net/news/loss_...pport_1_184844

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