Mum fears daughter's killer will strike again now he's set to be moved to open prison

17 February 2022, 16:45

By Amelia Isaacs

The mother of a woman who was stabbed 60 times and murdered fears her killer could strike again now he's set to be transferred to an open prison.

Doreen Soulsby is the mother of talented hairdresser Joanne Tulip, whose murderer Steven Ling has been recommended to open prison after violently raping and murdering her on Christmas Day 1997.

She spoke to LBC's Shelagh Fogarty, sparking a conversation on open prisons following the recapturing of sex offender Paul Robson, who escaped one earlier this week.

Ling stabbed her 60 times, and Mrs Soulsby told LBC he carved crosses and swastikas into her body before setting fire to her and fleeing the scene.

Mrs Soulsby said he was last reviewed in September 2020, where he was also referred to open prison.

She was told ministers rejected the parole board recommendation because he had to do more work on "managing his emotions", but called for the next review to happen more quickly.

She fears that he will be able to socialise with women again if sent to open prison, and that he may attack again.

She said: "Bear in mind that what he did to Joanne was out of his own head.

"His brain was wired in such a way that her fight against him attacking him triggered him to do all of these terrible things.

"From his own head. He didn't fantasise about anything.

"He didn't look at any videos or anything. He just did all of these things out of his own head."

Mrs Soulsby said Ling was profiled by a criminal psychologist from the crime faculty unit on Boxing Day, the day after the murder.

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

He said: "Even if he gets into open prison and he goes on day release, who's to say he's not going to start socialising with women again?

"And their resentment to his attack. Will it result in the same things happening if his brain's wired like that?"

She continued: "Going into an open prison is a test. Testing these terrible people to see if they'll do it again. It's a real worry and he should be kept in prison.

"I still say he should have a life sentence and life should mean life for somebody like that."

Mrs Soulsby concluded: "I'm spreading the word about the type of prisoner that can be released into open prison and will be free at some stage."