Mum’s ‘no’ to death penalty

Helen McCourt
Helen McCourt

A WIGAN murder victim’s mother believes bringing back the death sentence would be “morally wrong”.

Helen McCourt was just 22 when she was disappeared on the way home from work in February 1988.

Although her body was never found Ian Simms, the landlord of the George and Dragon in Mesnes Street, was convicted of murder.

But as Simms serves his time in jail, Marie has today spoken out AGAINST a call for the death penalty to be re-instated.

Petitions set up in the last week have called for the return of capital punishment and should any one reach 100,000 signatures, it will trigger a debate in the House of Commons.

Mrs McCourt said: “I think bringing this back would make those sentencing as bad as the murderer. Up until my daughter was murdered, I was all for it. I was only a young mum when Ian Brady and Hindley took all those innocent lives.

“I remember thinking at the time that I wish the death penalty was still around but when Helen was killed, I changed my mind. A life is so precious and to me; no-one has the right to take it away from somebody.”

She currently helps with charity SAMMS Merseyside. The majority of the people involved with the charity are also against bringing back the death penalty.

Marie also points to the case of Stefan Kiszko who served 16 years in prison for the murder and sexual assault of schoolgirl Lesley Molseed – a crime he did not commit.

He was freed on appeal in 1992, when new evidence proved he could not have killed her. He died the following year from a heart attack, aged 41.

Mrs McCourt added: “So much of his life was taken away from him, but can you imagine if the death penalty had been in place then?”