Dominic Raab BLOCKS bid to move sadistic murderer to an open prison

Dominic Raab BLOCKS bid to move sadistic murderer who raped 29-year-old woman and stabbed her 60 times, to an open prison

  • Justice Secretary blocked bid to move Steven Ling to lower security jail
  • First intervention by Mr Raab after he promised to personally review requests to move high-risk offenders 
  • Ling murdered and raped Joanne Tulip on Christmas Day 1997
  • Joanne’s mother Doreen Soulsby reportedly called on Mr Raab to keep Ling in closed prison 

Dominic Raab has blocked a bid to move a sadistic murderer who raped a 29-year-old woman and stabbed her 60 times, to an open prison. 

The Justice Secretary overruled the recommendation made by the Parole Board last month to transfer Steven Ling to a lower security jail.

Farm worker Ling was jailed for life in December 1998 after admitting murdering 29-year-old Joanne Tulip in Stamfordham, Northumberland on Christmas Day 1997. A charge of rape was left on file.

Blocking the bid to move Ling to an open prison is the first intervention of its kind made by Mr Raab after he promised to personally review requests to move high-risk offenders to open jails. 

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice confirmed that Mr Raab had rejected the move to an open prison ‘in the interest of public protection.’ 

Joanne’s mother Doreen Soulsby had reportedly called on Mr Raab to keep Ling in a closed prison and won the support of several MPs. 

Farm worker Ling was jailed for life in December 1998 after admitting murdering 29-year-old Joanne Tulip (pictured) in Stamfordham, Northumberland on Christmas Day 1997

Dominic Raab overruled the recommendation made by the Parole Board last month to transfer Steven Ling to a lower security jail

Ling was initially ordered to serve at least 20 years in jail but in 2009 a High Court judge cut the minimum term to 18.

Sentencing Ling at Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Justice Potts told him: ‘You inflicted appalling injuries on (Ms Tulip) while you were having sexual relations with her. I’m also satisfied that there was in your motivation an aspiration of sadism.’ 

He added: ‘You will never be released so long as it is thought you constitute a danger to women.’  

A similar recommendation to move Ling to an open prison was blocked by Ministry of Justice officials in 2020 when the case last came before the Parole Board.

Farm worker Ling (pictured) was jailed for life in December 1998 after admitting murdering 29-year-old Joanne Tulip in Stamfordham, Northumberland on Christmas Day 1997

Speaking to MailOnline last month Joanne’s mother said: ‘It’s very concerning that violent sex killers like this could be released into open prison.

‘Joanne’s murder was a very violent sexual attack. His head was wired in such a way that when he attacked her he was triggered.

‘He was 23 then, he’s 47 now. He’s missed his life and socialising with women like a young man That’s the first thing he will want to do when he can but with his wiring it’s a very alarming idea.

‘It’s very upsetting. The memory is there all the time but this makes it even more present.’

‘He has committed the worst sex offence with Joanne and if he gets out and is not a convicted sex offender nobody will know what he has done,’ she said.

Mrs Soulsby added: ‘It was a hugely violent sexual attack. He raped and murdered her by stabbing her multiple times as well as carving images on her body, including swastikas and crosses, and other sexual things which all ended up by him trying to set fire to her.

‘He was profiled as a piquerist the following day by a Forensic Psychologist in the Crime Faculty Unit. A piquerist is a person who has a sexual interest in penetrating the skin with sharp objects. It is a paraphilia – a recurring sexual interest – and a form of sadism.

‘What he did came out of his own head and was not insane. His head was wired in a way that when he came up against Joanne’s fight against him he sadistically raped and murdered her and did terrible things to her body both before and after death.’

Mrs Soulsby also said it was not safe to let Ling out and that she never wants him released. 

She has campaigned to make sure that all sex killers are prosecuted for their sexual attacks as well as their killings which is now accepted practice.

After today’s news, Mrs Soulsby (pictured) told The Telegraph it is ‘such a relief’

After today’s news, she told The Telegraph it is ‘such a relief.’ 

She said: ‘All the effort has been really worthwhile. I have been campaigning and everyone that I have spoken to cannot believe on offender like him would be released into an open prison.’ 

Mr Raab had decided to oversee the prison transfer process after sex offender Paul Robson went on the run from an open jail in Lincolnshire, sparking a major manhunt. 

The work was previously entirely delegated to justice officials.   

Speaking to reporters earlier this month, Mr Raab said: ‘I think what people are fed up of hearing is that we own the system but we don’t take responsibility for it because it’s delegated to officials.

‘I think people expect their ministers and politicians to be held accountable for it – which means we need to change the system accordingly.

‘But it will only be the top slice of high risk because the volume of cases would inundate us.’

Mr Raab had decided to oversee the prison transfer process after sex offender Paul Robson went on the run from an open jail in Lincolnshire, sparking a major manhunt

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