Mum shares agony with LBC as daughter's killer faces parole

15 February 2022, 17:05

By Seán Hickey

The mother of Joanne Tulip, who was murdered in 1997, says she is terrified that her daughter's murderer will end up in an open prison.

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Doreen Soulsby is mother of Joanne Tulip, whose murderer Steven Ling is being considered for parole this week. She phoned Shelagh Fogarty during a conversation on open prisons, after sex offender Paul Robson escaped from one this week.

Mr Ling murdered Ms Tulip on Christmas Day 1997. Reports from the time state Ms Tulip was stabbed 60 times, with Mrs Soulsby telling LBC that he also carved her daughter's body before and after murdering her, and attempted to set her alight.

Mrs Soulsby told Shelagh that because the Court believed it would be easier to convict Mr Ling of murder, accusations of rape against him weren't considered – despite him admitting to rape. In a cruel twist, this also meant that Mr Ling was never placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Mrs Soulsby shared her fear for the safety of the public at large if Mr Ling gets a favourable decision at his parole hearing.

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"What's the first thing he's gonna do when he gets into open prison?" She wondered, reminding listeners of the escape of Mr Robson from the same environment.

"I'm terrified this time that he'll get into open prison, but i've been told to expect a phone call by the end of the week."

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Mrs Soulsby added that she didn't believe a parole hearing could reasonably find Mr Ling to be near reformed: "I don't know how you can assess a guy who thinks like that."

She added that there needs to be "greater transparency" in the justice system going forward, telling Shelagh that she hasn't heard anything about her daughter's murderer since he went to prison.

"If you could read from trusted people that this was a changed mind, would that assure you in any way?" Shelagh asked.

"I don't trust the people who make these decisions" Mrs Soulsby replied, revealing she has protested the gender makeup of previous parole boards, where there had not been a single woman in the past.

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