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The mother of a victim of murder, who advocated for the implementation of Helen’s Law, will be recognized and honored at Buckingham Palace.
On Wednesday, Marie McCourt, the mother of Helen McCourt, a 22-year-old who disappeared and was killed near their home in St Helens, Merseyside in 1988, will receive an MBE for her contributions to supporting families of murder victims.
Additional individuals to be recognized include Sir Terry Waite, renowned for his charitable efforts, who endured nearly five years of imprisonment at the hands of Islamic extremists in Lebanon.
The individual known for their charitable work in Hartest, Suffolk is the co-founder and president of Hostage International. This organization aids families of individuals who have been taken hostage.
The murder of Helen McCourt in 1989 resulted in a life sentence for Ian Simms, a pub owner. Despite her body never being recovered, he was released in 2020 and passed away in 2022.
Despite never revealing the location of Helen’s body, he consistently maintained his innocence.
After her daughter passed away, Mrs. McCourt’s efforts resulted in the enactment of the Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Act, also known as Helen’s Law, in 2021. This law makes it more difficult for murderers and sex offenders who withhold information about their victims to be granted parole.
In a previous interview with the PA news agency, she discussed receiving an MBE and stated, “It’s heartwarming to see individuals who have had to endure painful experiences due to their commitment to ensuring our laws are just and accurate, receive well-deserved recognition through these awards.”
“I am currently looking at a photo of Helen on the mantelpiece, where she has her hair styled in rollers and a big smile on her face. She was preparing to go out for New Year’s Eve.”
I believe that Helen would be extremely happy that other families may not have to endure the same challenges as us.
In his role as a representative of the Church of England, Sir Terry journeyed to Beirut in an attempt to secure the freedom of four hostages. However, he was abducted and remained a prisoner from 1987 to 1991.
He reported being isolated and blindfolded whenever someone entered the room.
He was also subjected to a simulated execution and physical abuse.
In a previous conversation with PA, Sir Terry expressed that being recognized in the King’s Birthday Honours list is one of the greatest accomplishments in life.
Derek Webley, who co-chairs the Windrush cross-Government working group, will receive an OBE in recognition of his contributions to the Windrush Generation.
Fiona Ellis, the CEO of Survivors in Transition, a non-profit organization that aids survivors of childhood sexual abuse, will be awarded an OBE for her contributions to the cause.