AN EAST Lancashire dad whose daughter was stabbed to death by her ex-partner has criticised the Parole Board’s decision to release a murderer despite his refusal to reveal where he hid her remains.

Ian Simms, 63, was convicted of killing the 22-year-old Helen McCourt in Billinge, near Wigan, in 1988.

Simms is now set to be released after an appeal by Ms McCourt’s mother against the Parole Board’s decision to release him was rejected.

That decision has been slammed by Pendle man John Clough MBE whose daughter Jane, 26, was stabbed to the death by her former partner Jonathan Vass in 2010 after he had pursued her to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where she worked as a nurse.

Commenting on the Parole Board’s decision, Mr Clough, who has campaigned tirelessly alongside wife Penny for a stalkers register, Tweeted: “Sorry @Parole_Board but you are wrong!

"This should never happen, I am totally disgusted at your actions.

"I bet it would never happen had one of your friends or family been the victim.

"Shame on you all. Compassion for victims, not murderers!”

Following the decision that Simms would be freed, Ms McCourt’s mother Marie said in a statement: “I am very disappointed with the Parole Board’s announcement and do not accept what they are saying - that Simms is safe to be released.

“I am consulting my legal team to discuss my next steps.”

The decision to reject Marie McCourt’s appeal came on the day Helen’s Law, legislation that would deny parole to killers who do not disclose their victims’ remains, went back before Parliament.

It had been presented to Parliament in October but the bill ran out of time when the recent General Election was called.

Simms was granted parole in November on the seventh time of trying after officials decided he met the requirements for release.

A Parole Board spokesman said: “Whilst the Parole Board has every sympathy with Helen McCourt’s family, if the board is satisfied that imprisonment is no longer necessary for the protection of the public, they are legally obliged to direct release.”