Britain's longest-serving female prisoner denied parole for ninth time

Britain’s longest-serving female prisoner who stabbed her love rival to death 17 times has been denied parole yet again.

Dubbed the ‘forgotten’ inmate, Maria Pearson has served almost 34 years behind bars for the murder of Janet Newton in 1987.

Aged 31 at the time, she plunged a sheath knife into her ex’s new girlfriend after stalking her.

The frenzied attack happened two days after her former partner became engaged to Ms Newton.

Pearson was thrown in jail on June 24, 1987, and told she had to serve a minimum of 11 years.

The mum-of-three had previously insisted she is ‘no longer a danger to society’, and has unsuccessfully appealed her conviction.

She has been in prison nearly as long as child killer Myra Hindley was before her death in 2002.

This was Pearson’s ninth appeal for parole, with the hope that she could be finally freed.

But a panel has again decided she was not fit for release because of the nature of the murder, how she has behaved in custody and evidence heard at the hearing.

It also ruled Pearson, from Hartlepool, Durham, is not fit to be moved to an open prison.

She has twice in he past been moved to one, only to be returned to a closed jail because of concerns about her behaviour.

The panel was told Pearson had been ‘willing to resort to violence’ as a way of managing difficult situations in her life at the time of the murder.

In 2014 she took part in a programme to help her with her decision-making but admitted to the parole panel that she had told facilitators ‘what she thought they wanted to hear’.

Her last review in July 2020 was rejected, partly because of her bad behaviour in prison.

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