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