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
Didn't remember this one Ste, do you still add to your Liverpool murders site?
I'd like to hear more regarding the explaination about her earings/hair being in his car/pocket etc.
Was his affair with her.
I should imagine somebody having an affair having to be clever, deceitful and untrustworthy in any case though that obviously doesn't make them a murderer.
Some of my questions may be answered in your links, i'll take a look, thanks for the posting.
Originally Posted by Ged
I havent updated it for a few years Ged, I want to revamp it all with better graphics etc when I get round to it.
I know a little bit about this case, as my friend is the girls cousin. He enlightened some things that weren't reported, alas as it was 20 years ago I cannot recall. I know the family used to go out EVERY week-end searching sites for her body. It has broken the family in many ways! No other person was in the frame for the murder, the evidence, though no body, was incriminating! I will ask my friend for an update when I see him.
I lived in Billinge at the time and as you can imagine it had a massive impact on the local community. As far as I remember, the incriminating evidence was one of Helen's ear rings was found in the back of Ian Simms' car. Also when Helen's clothes were eventually found they contained carpet fibres which matched the carpet in Simms' flat.Furthermore, Helen's trousers were brand new and had never been worn before the day she disappeared, yet they too, had fibres on them from the carpets in Simms's flat.
Her poor Mother has never rested and continues to explore every possibility of finding Helen's remains to enable a Christian burial. Hard to believe it's now almost 20 years ago.
Last edited by Jim SH; 01-14-2008 at 03:50 PM.
Reason: Forgot to post picture
Thanks Verdi and Jim. Looking at it I'm convinced they've got the right man, I just dont know why Simms wont admit where the body is. Its awful for the family that they arent able to put closure on it.
The 20th anniversary of Helen's disappearance has recently passed and her mother was featured in the Echo.
I hope Mrs McCourt gets what she's looking for. R.I.P. Helen.
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