THE mother of a woman killed in an 'extremely violent' attack is appealing to the new Secretary of State for Justice to keep her murderer behind bars.

Doreen Soulsby, of Wall, is appealing to Shabana Mahmood to keep Stephen Ling, who murdered her daughter Joanne Tulip on Christmas Day in 1997, from being sent to open prison.

She has tirelessly campaigned for reform to the criminal justice system since her daughter's death nearly 27 years ago, including television interviews and letters to various government departments and the Prime Minister.

Hairdresser Joanne, who was 29 years old, was raped and murdered in what Doreen described as 'an extremely violent, heinous, masochistic and depraved sexual attack' in Stamfordham.

Stephen Ling murdered Joanne in 1997 Stephen Ling murdered Joanne in 1997 (Image: Newsquest)

Twenty-three-year-old farm labourer Ling carved crosses and swastikas on Joanne before and after death, before attempting to set fire to her body.

Ling will have his fifth parole hearing, which will be public, on July 16 and 17 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

In his last two hearings in 2020 and 2022, the parole board recommended Ling be released to open prison, which were blocked by the then Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland and Dominic Raab.

Joanne TulipJoanne Tulip (Image: Doreen Soulsby)

"Stephen committed an extremely violent, sexual and sadistic attack on my daughter, including rape, and inflicted 60 injuries, 31 of which were knife wounds and lacerations," Doreen said.

"The process of the attack and the things he did to Joanne's body were described in the later stages as sadomasochistic behaviour through the use of piqueristic-style multiple stab wounds. The attack couldn't get any worse."

Ling admitted Joanne's rape, however, he never stood trial for it. The charge was allowed to lie on file by the trial judge because the murder was the greater charge.

If Ling is ever released from prison, he won't be on the sex offender's register.

Doreen said: "I just hope and pray that the parole board and Secretary of State take this on board before considering any parole recommendation for Ling's release into open prison or any release whatsoever.

"There will be public outcry if this happens and public confidence in the justice system will never be restored."