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Northumberland mum swears fight will continue to keep her daughter’s brutal killer behind bars UK News

The mother of murder victim Joanne Tulip has taken another step in her fight to keep her daughter’s sadistic killer behind bars.

Doreen Soulsby was devastated when she learned last month that Steven Ling, who brutally attacked and killed her daughter on Christmas Day 1997, had been recommended by the parole board to move to an open prison.

And now she has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab to plead for Ling to stay locked up.

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Joanne was violently raped before being killed by farmhand Steven Ling after she was lured to his home in the Northumberland village of Stamfordham.

And Joanne, who has fought in her daughter’s memory for the past 25 years, said she is not ready to give up now.

“I am appalled that such a man has been recommended for release into open prison, and the relative freedom that brings,” said Doreen, who lives in Wall, near Hexham.

Ling was imprisoned for the murder of Joanne for 20 years in 1998, but his case went to the parole board for the fourth time earlier this month and Doreen is still awaiting a decision from the Secretary of State for Justice, following the recommendation of the commission.

‘I have written to Dominic Raab and Boris Johnson to make them aware of the recommendation and the possibility of the Justice Secretary approving the decision,’ Doreen said.

“I have just received confirmation that Raab’s office has received my letter.

Old photo of Joanne Tulip cuddling a puppy
Joanne Tulip, who was 29 when she was killed by Stephen Ling

“There are ongoing discussions at the moment about open prisons, what they are and how they work, and the type of prisoner who is released there, given the escaped rapist Paul Robson who is released from the open prison of Lincolnshire last month and was on the run for four days before being caught.

“I will not give up my campaign until I learn that Ling will be locked up for life.”

In addition to raping and murdering hairdresser Joanne, who was 29 at the time of her death, Ling carved crosses and swastikas on her body before setting her on fire and fleeing the scene.

Ling’s sentence was last reviewed in September 2020, where he was also returned to open prison, but this was rejected by the Secretary of State for Justice, as it was believed that he should do more. work to “manage his emotions”.

Steven Ling, who was imprisoned for at least 20 years in 1998

Since Joanne’s murder, Doreen has campaigned for a decade to change the law, insisting that sex offenses be tried alongside murder to close the loophole surrounding the monitoring of their release.

“If Ling is ever released, he won’t be put on the sex offender registry because he’s never been tried for rape, even though he confessed to police that he had ‘sex without consent’. ‘ and that he ‘wanted to kill himself because he had raped her,'” she said.

“The judge agreed with the defense that it would be an abuse of process to allow the prosecution to proceed with the rape charge.”

With the help of her deputy, she succeeded in changing the law – but it came too late to make a difference in Ling’s case.

Doreen worries that if Ling is moved to an open prison, he will be able to socialize with women again, as well as be allowed out during the day and on weekends, and that he might attack again.

In her letter to Dominic Raab, Doreen said Ling was called a piqueriste the day after Joanne’s murder by a National Crime Faculty Unit medical examiner.

“A piqueriste is a person who has a sexual interest in penetrating the skin with sharp objects. It is a paraphilia and a form of sadism,” she said in her letter.

“What he did came out of his own head and wasn’t he crazy. Ling’s head was wired in such a way that when he came up against Joanne’s fight against him, he knocked her out. raped and murdered sadistically and did terrible things to her body before and after death.

Doreen Soulsby on the couch
Doreen Soulsby, who fears that Steven Ling will strike again if he is transferred to an open prison

“He is only 47 now and has missed 24 years of his young life in prison.

“Because of this, if released even in open prison, he would target women even on day parole, socialize with them, and his sexual appetite having been restricted in prison, would take control of the situation and be a danger. for women.

“You cannot ‘test’ the readiness of a prisoner like Ling under open conditions for any potential return to the community in the future, lest another young woman be attacked and murdered from the same way as my daughter Joanne.”

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: ‘This was only a recommendation and the Secretary of State for Justice is reviewing the advice before making the final decision on the suitability of a held on open terms.

“We will only make a recommendation for open terms if a parole board…

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This notice was published: 2022-03-08 06:00:00

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