UK murderers who conceal victims' locations could be refused parole

Murderers who refuse to reveal the location of their victims' bodies could be denied parole under a UK law change.

Justice Secretary David Gauke has announced the 'Helen's Law' legislation, which will require parole boards to take into account a killer's refusal to provide information about the location of their victims' remains when deciding if they should be released.

"The Parole Board must consider this cruelty when reviewing an offender's suitability for release, which could see them facing longer behind bars," he says.

'Helen's Law' is named after Helen McCourt, who was murdered in 1988. Her killer, Ian Simms, has refused to reveal where he left her body.

Helen's mother, Marie McCourt, has campaigned to keep her Simms behind bars until he leads her to her daughter.

She says the impact of her daughter's death is "a pain in your heart that will never go", and welcomes the new law.

"It's hard to lose a loved one in any circumstances, but to have them murdered is horrific," she told BBC Breakfast.

"But then not to have their remains to be able to go and put flowers on, it's a grief that can't come out of you.

"Families deserve to say a last goodbye and know where their loved one is going to be resting."

Nearly 600,000 people signed a petition, launched in 2015, to introduce 'Helen's Law'.

However the legislation will require primary legislation and full parliamentary approval before it comes into effect, the Guardian reports.

This means it could come in too late to force Simms to cooperate as his parole process is already underway.

Marie still faces an anguished wait for information on her daughter's resting place.

"I wrote to him, begging him 'please, please just tell me and you will not hear from me again'," she says.

"I still hope he will remain in prison until he tells me. I hope one day I will know."