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To her fury, Ling has refused to appear on camera, which even Mr Chalk cannot overturn, and will instead be heard but not seen when the parole board convenes at the Royal Courts of Justice.
“Mr Ling has chosen not to appear on camera, therefore this is not a public parole board hearing. He is not facing up to what he has done,” Mrs Soulsby told Mr Chalk.
Ling’s parole application is possible only because, although he was jailed for life, the minimum term he has to serve was set at 18 years, meaning he can apply for parole every two years from that point.
If the Government’s forthcoming Victim and Prisoners Bill had been in force on the day Joanne died, Ling would have been subject to a whole life term under Mr Chalk’s plans for sadistic or sexual killers never to be released.
The legislation cannot apply retrospectively, which is why Mrs Soulsby will do all she can to lobby whoever she can and publicise her plight to keep a man she describes as a “monster caged”. “We don’t want him to come out,” she told The Telegraph after her meeting with Chalk.
She believes the killer’s sexual deviancy means he will remain a threat and that justice was never done for the pain he caused her and her family. He has never been tried for the rape, as it was ruled by the judge a secondary, less serious offence.
“I screamed and screamed and screamed,” she recalled of the Christmas Day morning she was told of her daughter’s murder. “All the little kids, all my grandchildren were wondering what was wrong with Granny.”
Memories of the murder
She remembers switching off the oven with the turkey in it and the dismal, dark journey through the rolling Northumberland countryside to the nearby police station at Hexham. “That’s why we don’t have Christmas,” she said.
She and her second husband Wayne, 72, leave Britain every December to visit a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas to avoid the painful memories of the murder of her “bubbly, party-loving, never-think-ill-of-anyone” daughter whose innocence and naivete was brutally exploited by Ling, a “big, abrasive, surly” farmworker.
They return only on Christmas Eve to be with her daughter at her grave. “I think of her all the time,” said Mrs Soulsby. “I can’t stand Christmas. I can’t stand the hype. It’s too much. We go away most of December to somewhere that doesn’t celebrate Christmas.”
Mrs Soulsby said Mr Chalk told her the “severity of the crime could not have been worse”.
“He said he would do everything he could to help. He said the victims Bill in the King’s Speech will recognise the work you have done. It will have my name on it.”
For 26 years, Mrs Soulsby has campaigned for victims to have more information about offenders’ progress and status, which will be set in legal stone by the Bill. It will give ministers a veto over the release of the most dangerous criminals and beef up the parole board with ex-police and prison officers to take a more “robust” approach to justice.
Reading from a sheet typed neatly in block capitals as she made her final appeal to Mr Chalk in their meeting, she said: “I would ask you to take on board everything we have discussed and block any parole board recommendation to open prison or into the community. It’s our family serving a life sentence.”
Appel à la justice de l’État/Troisième lettre à milord Sidney,(la couverture) .
Histoire de la justice,Le livre .
Photographie/Sociétés et Organisations/Éditeurs de cartes postales/L. Dulac,Le livre .