Mother ‘Elated’ Helen’s Law Will Deny Killers Parole Until Bodies Are Found

Read our Comment Piece:
Helen’s Law: What Happens When Juries Believe A Liar?

The mother of murdered Helen McCourt said she is “elated” laws are to finally change so killers are denied parole if they refuse to reveal where they hid their victim’s body.

Marie McCourt has begged murderer Ian Simms to tell her the whereabouts of her daughter’s remains ever since the insurance clerk vanished on her way home from work in 1988.

But the pub landlord, who was convicted by a jury on overwhelming DNA evidence of the 22-year-old’s abduction and murder and is still in jail, has always maintained his innocence.

She campaigned relentlessly to keep Simms behind bars until he helped lead police to her daughter’s body.

MPs voted in favour of the law in 2016 but it had yet to receive Government backing, until Justice Secretary David Gauke announced the move on Saturday.

Helen’s Law will make it a legal requirement for the Parole Board to take into account a killer’s failure to disclose the location of their victim’s remains when considering them for release.

Mrs McCourt, from St Helens, Merseyside, said she hoped it would stop the “torture” of killers “calling the shots” and realise they need to co-operate.

If they do help, it should not automatically mean they can be released, she added.

She told PA: “I feel really elated and quite relieved that it’s finally happening.

“I really can’t believe it. I have been trying for so long

“It has been a terrible stress on me since I started the petition in 2015. It was voted for in Parliament but then it was delayed after the general election.

“I just know Brexit took up too much time in Parliament.

“This law will help so many other families.”

When she marks what would have been her daughter’s 54th birthday later this month, she said it would be with her “heart lifted” in light of the news.

But she said it was still agony being denied the chance to recover her daughter’s remains, adding: “I wrote to him, begging him ‘please, please just tell me and you will not hear from me again’.

“I still hope he will remain in prison until he tells me.

“I hope one day I will know.”

She thanked her “amazing” MP Conor McGinn and Mr Gauke for their support in the campaign and said the wait for change was long but worth it.

Parole Board guidance already says offenders who withhold information may still pose a risk to the public and could therefore face longer in prison.

But Helen’s Law will for the first time make it a legal requirement to consider this withholding of information when making a decision on whether to release an offender, the Ministry of Justice said.

It is hoped the legislation will be brought into force as soon as possible.

Courts can also hand down tougher sentences for murderers who deliberately conceal the location of a body.

Mr Gauke said: “It is a particular cruelty to deny grieving families the opportunity to lay their murdered loved one to rest and I have immense sympathy with Marie McCourt and others in her situation.

“Those responsible should know that if they choose to compound this further through their behaviour, they will be held accountable.”

Read our Comment Piece:
Helen’s Law: What Happens When Juries Believe A Liar?

Victims to get new powers to challenge Parole Decisions

Crime victims are to be given new powers to challenge the release of violent offenders after a parole system review sparked by the case of black cab rapist John Worboys.

Rather than launching a costly and time-consuming court challenge to Parole Board decisions, they will be able to apply directly to the Justice Secretary to overturn them, current minister David Gauke said.

The challenge system, which has to be launched within 21 days of victims being notified of a decision to release, will only apply to the most serious of offenders serving lengthy jail terms.

The review came after a decision to release former taxi driver Worboys in 2018, after almost a decade behind bars, was only overturned following a judicial review.

He had been jailed indefinitely in 2009, with a minimum term of eight years, for 19 offences relating to violent sex attacks including rapes on 12 victims.

The new power is among a series of reforms to the parole system due to be announced by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) this week.

Mr Gauke said: “This landmark reform will for the first time empower victims to hold the Parole Board to account for its decision and help restore public confidence in the important work that it does.”

The new system will apply to Indeterminate Sentence Prisoners (ISPs), which include those serving a life sentence and those, like Worboys, sentenced to Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP).

It would also apply to those serving extended sentences – where prison terms are bolstered by ordering the convicted criminal to serve more time on licence afterwards than would usually be the case.

The MoJ said that the challenge threshold would be “similar” to that of a judicial review, focusing on “illegality, irrationality and procedural unfairness”.

The request would be first considered by a team at the Prison and Probation Service and could then be passed to a named Parole Board judge who could order the original panel to review its decision or order a fresh hearing.

It is understood that the Worboys case would meet the review threshold under the “procedural unfairness” provision.

Controversy was sparked in January last year when it emerged the Parole Board had decided Worboys was safe to be freed.

In March, the release direction was quashed by the High Court, following a legal challenge by two women.

As a result Worboys, 61, was kept behind bars until the case had been reassessed by a new panel, which later decided he should remain in prison.

Mark Leech, Editor of Converse, the national newspaper for prisons in England and Wales, said the new powers ‘strike the right balance’.

Mr Leech said: “The very concept of justice requires balance, fairness to both sides, as this isn’t to be a political decision but a judicial one it therefore strikes the right balance.

“Victims must have a say when it comes to early release decisions, too often in the most serious cases they have been left bewildered by release decisions.

“It will still be open to victims to seek a judicial review of any Parole Panel’s decision referred to it under these new powers, this just provides a speedier route of challenge and to that extent it is to be welcomed for providing speed and clarity to victim and offender alike.”

Parole Board Chair Expresses ‘Significant Concern’ over diversity of Parole Board Members – where just 13 of 240 Members are from BAME backgrounds

Unconscious bias in the recruitment process is feared to have led to the Parole Board having no black members, according to its chairwoman.

Caroline Corby said it was of “significant concern” to her, adding that the approach to recruitment will change.

Ms Corby also outlined how the board, which assesses whether serving prisoners in England and Wales are safe to be released into the community or moved to open conditions, had suffered a “loss of confidence” following the John Worboys case.

She said it was hard to measure if members were more risk-averse following the case, although she noted that the release rate was usually around 49% but decreased to about 42% in the immediate aftermath and has since increased to 46%, with more adjournments and deferrals.

The Parole Board sparked huge controversy in January by ruling that Worboys, known as the black cab rapist, was safe to be freed after around a decade behind bars.

The board’s release direction was quashed by the High Court in March and changes were made, including a transparency drive over its decision

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Corby said of the board’s diversity: “I am a little bit concerned about this.

“Of our 240 members, 13 currently have a BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) background and I want to do better than that.”

She added: “At the moment we have no black Parole Board members and that’s of significant concern to me. But in terms of addressing this issue, we’re very keen to have as many people with a BAME background apply to us as possible.

“We have learnt lessons from our last recruitment round because we actually had the same objective and we weren’t successful so I am determined to learn lessons from last time around.”

Asked why, Ms Corby said there were not enough applicants from BAME backgrounds and those who did apply did “very poorly” in the first two stages of the five-stage process for “reasons we don’t entirely understand”.

She added: “But I think there must have been some kind of unconscious bias in those processes. We’re not going to have those processes next time around.”

On the impact of the Worboys ruling, Ms Corby said: “It was obviously a very difficult period for the board.

“We saw the departure of our previous chair in difficult circumstances, the board was subject to unprecedented amount of publicity, the like of which we haven’t experienced before, and I think there was a loss of confidence amongst ourselves a little bit, perhaps a loss of confidence in the wider public and that was something I am very keen to repair.”

Mark Leech, Editor of The Prisons Handbook for England and Wales said: “Its absolutely right the Parole Board recognise this huge gap between its membership and the diversity of service users whose release they are considering – justice demands understanding.

“The Parole Board has just 5% of its membership from BAME backgrounds, yet over 26% of the prison population identify as BAME – what does that say for justice?”

Latest Prison Population Diversity Statistics July 2018

Why The Parole Board and Secrecy have no right to be Bedfellows

By Mark Leech.

Today The Times reports that Members of parole panels who decide to release prisoners should not be identified because of fears for their safety, the Parole Board has recommended to the government.

The Board has also opposed allowing the public into parole hearings and the release of details of the decision in full or a redacted form. Instead it wants a summary of the decisions to be made available on request, according to the board’s response to the justice ministry’s review of the processes.

How ridiculous is this yet one more example of Parole Board professional self-harm?

The High Court quashed the release decision in the Worboys case largely because the secrecy that surrounded it, enshrined in the now declared ultra vires Rule 25, offended against the common law principle of open Justice – our criminal justice system consists of two distinct ends: one the Courts that send people to jail and, at the other, the Parole Board that in the case of serious offenders, releases them.

Both ends – and the full journey between them both – should be subject to exactly the same degree of public openness and transparency as each other.

If we name our Magistrates and Judges who send people to jail, what on earth is the point of concealing the names of Parole Board panel members who decide whether to release them or not?

This ridiculous drive for criminal justice secrecy is also to be seen within our prisons, among the 2000 or so Members of the rightly much-criticised ‘Independent Monitoring Boards’ (IMBs) – lay people appointed to statutory office by the Secretary of State for Justice to report on conditions inside our prisons and whose names the public are banned from knowing – a decision upheld by the Secretary of State for Justice in 2016.

This ban on IMB names being published comes despite the ludicrous fact that every single report from the Prisons Inspectorate names the IMB Chairman in the prison the Report refers to – and it ignores the fact too that when IMB members are at work inside our prisons, they all wear name badges.

Secrecy has no part in our criminal justice system, it still seems bizarre to me that in 2018 when a defendant appears in court all the public get to see on television are (admittedly good) charcoal drawings of the person on trial.

It is time for television cameras to be placed inside all courts, first instance and appeals – and yes inside Parole Board Hearings too; the public have a right to know who does what, in their name, inside the criminal justice system.

If a judge or magistrate can be named and held responsible for the sentences that they pass, why should Parole Board Members be treated any differently when they decide whether or not to release those from that sentence?

Parole Board Members have the right to go about their lawful professional duties in a safe environment but if they are subject to threats or abuse, then those are rightly matters for the police and the courts to deal with – but a fear of it cannot be used to draw defensive lines ousting the public’s right to know who makes decisions on their behalf, on what are purely subjective and defensive lines.

Mark Leech is the Editor of The Prisons Handbook for England and Wales @prisonsorguk

Mother fears for safety in open Prison move for Noye

noyeThe Suffolk mother of Kenneth Noye’s road rage victim has said she fears for her own safety if the killer is moved to an open prison – fears which commentators say the Ministry of Justice must ignore.

Notorious gangster Noye could be back on Britain’s streets in months after the ruling by the Parole Board.

The 68 year-old is serving a life sentence for stabbing to death electrician Stephen Cameron, 21, in a road rage attack on the M25 in Kent in 1996.

Stephen’s mother Toni said she and her husband Ken are “devastated” at the decision, which if approved would mean Noye moves to a prison where he could be given home leave, trips out and even get a job.

She said: “We are devastated. He should stay in prison, he has murdered somebody. Where’s the justice?

“I wouldn’t feel safe. I don’t trust him. I wouldn’t trust him one iota. A leopard doesn’t change his spots.

“He left our son dying in the road and absconded to Spain the next day like he didn’t have a care in the world. He didn’t care about anybody apart from himself.”

Mrs Cameron, who lives in Lowestoft, said she is appalled that her son has been robbed of his life while his killer could be free to walk the streets again.

She said: “Our son hasn’t got a life, we have lost our lives – our family has all been devastated.

“We have been denied grandchildren, a marriage. We had two foster grandchildren who were with us that day and they’ve never got over it.”

Two years before killing Stephen, Noye had been released from prison for handling bullion stolen in the Brink’s-Mat robbery.

He stabbed to death police officer John Fordham in January 1985, but was acquitted at trial after claiming he was acting in self-defence.

After killing Stephen he went on the run and was arrested in Spain two years later in 1998. In 2000 he was jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 16 years.

Mrs Cameron said “life should mean life” and urged ministers to block the Parole Board’s recommendation.

She said: “Why do they think all of a sudden that he is Mr goody two-shoes? So he is going to change all of a sudden?

“He will be the model prisoner, he’s got a life of luxury in there.

“I think this country’s justice system isn’t good enough.

“If he is in an open prison he could abscond again – like he did when he murdered our son. He went to Spain for two years, showed no remorse, left him lying in the gutter dying.

“We have been fighting in Stephen’s corner for justice, but this is not justice. He was given a life sentence with a 16-year tariff, but to me life should mean life, end of. Why should he come out and enjoy the rest of his life?”

The family is planning to write to Justice Secretary Michael Gove to urge him to block the move to an open prison.

Mark Leech, editor of The Prisons Handbook for England and Wales, and Converse the monthly national newspaper for prisoners said Ministers could not lawfully intervene.

Mr Leech said: “Moving a lifer to an open prison is a matter for the Prison Service, it is they and not the Parole Board who decide what Category a particular prisoner should possess, and the prison in which he should be detained.

“However once the Parole Board has cleared the lifer’s path to an open prison it would be difficult for the Prison Service to ignore that, knowing it would inevitably lead to long costly legal proceedings when Kenneth Noye challenged it, as he certainly would, and rightly do so.

“The fears of victims are a consideration but they are not a basis for removing the prisoner’s right to progress towards the release the sentencing court clearly envisaged when they set his tariff at 16 years.”

Jane Andrews to be released say Parole Board

The Prisons Handbook 2015 – out now  /  Home Page  /  Converse Prison Newspaper


Former royal aide Jane Andrews, who was jailed for stabbing her boyfriend to death in 2001, is to be released from prison, the Parole Board has said.

She flew into a rage when he told her he had no intention of marrying her and, while he was asleep, battered him with a cricket bat and then stabbed him to death.

The Secretary of State will now rule on her release date.

A spokesman for the Parole Board said two men and one woman made the decision and added: “We can confirm that a three member panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of Jane Andrews.

“The decision to release is a matter for the Board, which is independent – arrangements and the date of the release are a matter for the Secretary of State for Justice.

“We are unable to comment further on the details of this case.”

The killer will be bankrolled into new found freedom – with a nest-egg from property sales she made in jail.

She is now set to use the cash windfall to fund her eventual release.

Last night a shocked relative of her victim warned that the former flunkey was still volatile, and posed a serious threat to men if her future relationships imploded.

Tom’s older brother Rick Cressman, aged 64 years, insisted that Andrews had never shown remorse.

And he recently warned the Parole Board examining her freedom bid not to be swayed by any belated apology she might make to achieve it.

Rick had previously said Andrews should be accompanied by a public health warning, like those on cigarette packets.

Friends are understood to have alerted his family, who wanted Andrews to stay in jail, to prepare themselves for her release which the three man Parole Board yesterday approved.

Rick insisted yesterday: “Her getting parole is against our wishes and is a devastating blow to all of us.”

Andrews has already served an extra two-years on top of the 11 year life sentence tariff imposed at the Old Bailey in 2001.

She subsequently lost a previous freedom bid on the grounds that she remained a danger to the opposite sex.

Now aged 46 years, Andrews stabbed her ex stock broker partner with a kitchen knife and battered him with a cricket bat before fleeing – leading to her former boss, Sarah Ferguson, appealing for her to surrender.

While serving life at HMP Send, near Guildford, Surrey, she sold her flat overlooking Battersea Park, London, two-years-ago, making a reported £300,000 profit.

This enabled her to buy another dwelling, a terraced house in Angmering, near Worthing, West Sussex, costing around £300k – which again she sold recently.

It means that the working class girl from Grimsby, the ambitious daughter of a joiner and a social worker mother, is likely to be switched to an open prison in preparation for her release.

She now has a healthy bank balance, either to invest, or help her get back on to the property ladder, when she is finally released.

Rick claimed Tom would have helped her to buy the London property, or at least made contributions to her mortgage payments, before she murdered him.

“Andrews is still devious and her personality hasn’t changed,” he insisted last night.

The volatile ex-royal aide has made three suicide attempts. Her first was when she was 15, after her mother discovered her truancy. She made a second bid after trashing the home of the son of a Greek shipping millionaire who had dumped her.

Her final bid to end her life came after she fled Tom’s murder and went on the run, hiding in her getaway car in a roadside lay by in Cornwall.

Andrews married aged 17 but divorced five years later claiming she had been abused.

Strangely, she was never punished for escaping from a previous open prison, East Sutton Park, Kent.

The £19,000 a year Royal servant, who saw Fergie’s job advertised in The Lady magazine, was jailed following a sensational trial at the Old Bailey, in which she dressed every day, head to toe, in black as if to show the jury she was in mourning.

Following his wedding snub, she murdered her partner at his home in Fulham, West London, following a holiday in Italy.

Cop Killer Harry Roberts Released

Harry Roberts - right
Harry Roberts – right

Police killer Harry Roberts has been released from prison, despite calls from relatives of his victims, politicians and senior police for him to stay behind bars.

The 78-year-old, who was jailed for life for shooting dead three unarmed policemen in 1966, was released from Littlehey prison in Cambridgeshire on Monday night, The Sun reported.

Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation John Tully said on Twitter that he thought Roberts’s release was “sickening”.

Roberts spent 45 years in jail after murdering Detective Sergeant Christopher Head, 30, Detective Constable David Wombwell, 25, and Constable Geoffrey Fox, 41.

The revelation that he was to be let out of prison sparked anger last month.

Mandy Fox, the youngest daughter of Pc Fox, branded the decision a “disgrace” and said she was “sickened” that Roberts was being released.

Gillian Wombwell, the widow of Mr Wombwell, said: “Our sentence is for life and so should his be.”

The prospect of Roberts being set free also drew strong criticism from Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who said a life sentence should have been just that.

Home Secretary Theresa May and London mayor Boris Johnson added their voices to the chorus calling for Roberts to remain behind bars.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg last month defended the Parole Board which decided on the release, saying such a decision is not about “feelings” but “how the justice system works”.

He said: “If you want to run the system according to the latest emotion you feel, fine, but that would be a disaster.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “We do not comment on individuals.

“Offenders on life sentences are subject to strict controls for as long as their risk requires them. If they fail to comply with these conditions they can be immediately returned to prison.

“Offenders managed through multi-agency public protection arrangements (Mappa) are monitored and supervised by probation, police and other agencies.”

3 x Cop Killer Harry Roberts to be freed after 45 years

Harry Roberts - right
Harry Roberts – right

Notorious police killer Harry Roberts is to be released from prison after serving more than 45 years of a life sentence.

Roberts, now 78, was jailed for life for the murder of three policemen in Shepherd’s Bush, west London, in 1966. His 30-year minimum tariff expired 18 years ago.

The parole board is understood to have approved his release, and he will be subject to close monitoring by police and the probation service.

DS Christopher Head, 30, DC David Wombwell, 25, and PC Geoffrey Fox, 41, were shot dead without warning while questioning three suspects in a van on 12 August 1966.

Steve White, head of the Police Federation, told the Sun: “This decision by the parole board is a slap in the face for the families of the three police officers he brutally murdered.”

And ex-Metropolitan police commissioner Lord Stevens told the paper: “The impact of this terrible crime was horrendous. This is a case where life imprisonment should mean exactly that – life.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “We do not comment on individuals. The release of life sentence prisoners is directed by the independent parole board once they are satisfied they can be safely managed in the community. Once released, they are subject to strict controls for as long as their risk requires them. If they fail to comply with these conditions they can be immediately returned to prison.

“Offenders managed through Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements are monitored and supervised by probation, police and other agencies.”

In May, justice minister Chris Grayling announced plans to change the law so police or prison officer killers would face whole-life prison terms.

The current minimum term is 30 years before a convict can be considered for parole and under the amendment to the criminal justice and courts bill, a whole life sentence would not be mandatory.

Speaking at the time, Grayling said: “Police officers play a vital role in keeping communities safe. As has been tragically demonstrated in recent years, this role is a dangerous one that can lead to officers paying the ultimate price while serving their community. It is essential that police and prison officers feel the full weight of the state is behind them as they fulfil their crucial duties.”

Mark Leech, editor of Converse, the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales said that the decision was right in practice.

Mr Leech said: “I understand that many will point to the fact that this decision is wrong in principle, but for me it is exactly right in practice: the whole life tariff as we understand it today did not exist in 1966, this is a man who has served almost a quarter of a century, he may not have shown any humanity to his victims but that is not an excuse for us now not showing some degree of humanity to him.”

Judges will no longer chair life sentence parole boards


Judges will no longer be required to chair Parole Board hearings for life sentence prisoners and those detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, Justice Minister Lord Faulks has said.

The chairman of the Parole Board will now be able to appoint any member of it to chair such panels for oral hearings.

This could include sitting or retired judges.

In a written ministerial statement, Lord Faulks said: “This approach will enable the Parole Board to adopt a flexible approach in assessing which of its members are best able to sit on and chair oral panels involving life sentence prisoners.

“Oral hearing panels, which do not include sitting or retired judges, already consider determinate cases and cases involving sentences of imprisonment for public protection (IPP). These cases can be just as difficult and complex as the cases of life sentenced prisoners.

“The Parole Board already assesses non-judicial members as to whether they possess sufficient skills and experience to be effective in chairing IPP cases.

“Following the amendment of the 2011 rules, the process of assessment and additional training will be extended to all members in respect of serving on and chairing life sentence panels.

“This Government regards the protection of the public as a priority and this change will help us create a more effective and efficient criminal justice system, and will allow greater flexibility, given the demands on a sitting judge’s time.”

Duchess of York Lifer – Freed in Weeks?

Jane Andrews
Jane Andrews

A murderer who once worked as an aide to Sarah Ferguson could be freed from her life sentence within weeks after applying for early release – but one prisons expert argues it will be at least another three years before she is in any realistic position to be freed.

Jane Andrews, 46, who stabbed her wealthy lover Thomas Cressman to death in a row over marriage, has reportedly applied for release after reaching the minimum 12 years in prison recommended as part of the life sentence she was given in 2001.

Although she will still have to convince a parole board that she is no longer a danger to society, Andrews, who had a similar release request turned down in 2012, could be back on the streets within weeks.

Andrews became a close friend and confidante of the Duchess of York during nine years as her employee – joining her on royal duties both in the UK and abroad.

In 2000, after Mr Cressman refused to get married, she clubbed the 39-year-old businessman unconscious with a cricket bat at their home in Fulham, west London. She then stabbed him to death.

During an argument in the hours before the murder, Cressman called police saying ‘somebody is going to get hurt’, but officers decided not to attend the scene.

Andrews attacked her boyfriend just a few hours later while he was sleeping.

Shortly after the killing, Andrews contacted her ex-husband Christopher Dunn-Butler and sent out text messages to friends inquiring about her lover’s whereabouts and well-being.

She claimed to have had no involvement in Cressman’s death and said she believed he was being blackmailed.

After she disappeared for several days during the police investigation, officers launched a manhunt and finally located her in Cornwall, where she was found overdosed in her car.

After her recovery and a subsequent police interrogation, Andrews was arrested for murder.

During her trial at the Old Bailey, the court heard Andrews had a history of depression and violent mood swings, and had made several suicide attempts and threats.

Speaking to Jeremy Armstrong at the Mirror, Mr Cressman’s brother Rick said he was ‘disappointed’ Andrews was applying for early release.

He said: ‘She remains a seriously dangerous individual and shouldn’t be freed… we have to live the rest of our lives without Tommy. That’s our life sentence.’

Expressing his anger that Andrews was applying for early release again despite being  turned down two years ago, Mr Cressman added: ‘The justice system allows for people who have committed heinous crimes the opportunity to have parole. As a family we can’t do anything about that.’

Andrews is understood to held at Send Prison in in Surrey, having been moved for East Sutton Park open prison after absconding in 2009.

Andrews spent two days on the run before being returned to the prison, although the Crown Prosecution Service said she would not face additional charges after considering psychiatric reports.

The Parole Board confirmed their review was ‘currently ongoing’, adding that Andrews remained in ‘closed conditions’.

Born to a working class family in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, Andrews was 21 when she answered a personal advert in The Lady for a personal dresser.

She was hired by the Duchess of York six months later and was a trusted member of her inner circle until being made redundant in the late 1990s as part of a Buckingham Palace cost-cutting exercise.

Andrews’ murder trial attracted huge media attention at the turn of their millennium, seemingly as much for the glamorous circles she moved in over the previous decade as for the brutal killing itself.

Mark Leech editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales said he thought it ‘highly unlikely’ that she would be freed any time soon.

Mr Leech said: “It is highly unlikely she will be freed any time soon even though she is now post-tariff – that is, has served in excess of her minimum term.

“She remains in closed conditions following her abscond from East Sutton Park in 2009, and that in itself is a huge indicator that she is not yet considered suitable to be trusted.

“Realistically I suspect we are looking at a minimum of three more years before she is in any realistic position to be released – and she will have to be tested in an open prison again for at least a couple of years before release becomes any kind of possibility.”