Killer affected by Helen’s Law told he will face public parole hearing

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One of the first prisoners affected by a law that makes it harder for certain killers to be released from jail has been told he will face a public parole hearing.

Glyn Razzell was refused release from prison in October while serving a life sentence for the murder of his estranged 41-year-old wife, mother-of-four Linda Razzell, who disappeared on her way to work at Swindon College in Wiltshire in March 2002.

He was one of the first prisoners to be considered by the Parole Board under Helen’s Law – which makes it harder for killers to get parole if they refuse to reveal where they hid their victim’s body.

The Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Act 2020 was named after insurance clerk Helen McCourt, who vanished on her way home from work in Billinge, Merseyside, in 1988.

Razzell denied killing his estranged wife but was found guilty by a jury but no trace of her body has ever been found.

The pair were embroiled in divorce proceedings when she went missing. His trial heard that he faced a financial settlement which he was not prepared to accept.

Russell Causley public parole hearing
Wife killer Russell Causley was one of the first inmates in UK history to have his Parole Board hearing held in public (Family handout/PA)

On Wednesday, the Parole Board said the killer opposed requests for a public hearing but the victim’s family’s wishes for proceedings not to be held in private were granted.

Razzell is set to join wife killer Russell Causley and notorious prisoner Charles Bronson as one of the first inmates in UK legal history to have their case heard in public after rules were changed last year in a bid to remove the secrecy around the process.

The Parole Board said it had received a number of representations over why the case should be heard in public – including that Razzell is one of the few prisoners to fall under Helen’s Law and the high level of public interest in the matter.

He will now face a two-day parole hearing, beginning on August 24.

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