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Britain’s ‘forgotten inmate’ locked up longer than any woman gets parole verdict

Britain’s "forgotten prisoner" who has been locked up for 35 years has been given her parole hearing verdict – this being her ninth bid for freedom.

Maria Pearson, now 66, has been behind bars for three and a half decades after stabbing her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend to death in 1986.

She was sent to prison when she was 31 years old and was made to serve a minimum of 12 years caged up.

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She has since gone on to serve an extra 23 years after the killing in which she stabbed Janet Newton 17 times with a sheaf knife. Janet and Pearson's ex-partner had become engaged two days beforehand.

Pearson is understood to have stalked and shouted abuse at Janet on the street in Hartlepool prior to the vicious killing.

Now, she will have received the news that her ninth bid for freedom has failed following a parole board hearing, reports the Sun.

A Parole Board panel ruled that given the horrific nature of the murder – as well as her behaviour in custody and subsequent evidence at her hearing – she would not be eligible for parole.

Equally, Pearson will not be moved to an open prison – she was previously moved to an open jail twice but was returned to a closed one.

Pearson had been "willing to resort to violence" as a way of dealing with her situation at the time of the murder, the panel was told.

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It also heard she took part in a decision-making programme in prison but admitted to the parole panel that she had told facilitators "what she thought they wanted to hear".

She also signed up to offer support for those struggling with complex behavioural problems in 2020 – after which it was decided she could be moved into an open prison, before she was then returned to a closed jail.

Pearson has served just one year less in the cage than child killer Myra Hindley.


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