THE mum of murdered Helen McCourt says she is ‘elated’ that a new law will keep killers locked up until they reveal where their victims’ bodies are.

Marie McCourt’s daughter Helen was killed in 1988 as she made her way home from work.

Ever since, murderer Ian Simms has refused to say where he dumped the 22-year-old’s body – although evidence points to Rixton Claypits as being a possible location.

Warrington Guardian:

Helen McCourt

As a result, Marie has campaigned to keep killers behind bars if they refuse to reveal where their victims’ bodies lie under Helen’s Law.

And justice secretary David Gauke has now announced that the government will back a change to current legislation.

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

MPs voted in favour of the law in 2016, but it had yet to receive government backing.

Marie said: "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 Marie 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 added: "I wrote to Simms, 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."

Helen disappeared on February 9 1988 after getting off the bus 200 yards away from her family home in Billinge, having travelled home from work in Liverpool.

Her walk home took her past the George and Dragon pub where Simms was landlord.

Warrington Guardian: Ian Simms (55517781)

Ian Simms

He was unanimously found guilty of Helen's murder in 1989 – becoming the first murderer convicted using DNA evidence when no body had been found – and was ordered to serve at least 16 years behind bars.

Simms has since been allowed out of prison on day release, despite Helen’s body never having been found.

Mr Gauke added: "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 then they will be held accountable."