THE murderer of schoolgirl Danielle Jones could be behind bars for longer, if a new law is passed before next year.

Stuart Campbell, who murdered his niece Danielle in 2001 and was jailed for life the year after, is set to be considered for release in 2021, but if a new law is passed, it will mean that the parole board will have to take into account the fact that her body was never found.

The Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Bill, known as Helen’s Law, was presented to parliament earlier this month and and was supported by Stephen Metcalfe, the MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock.

Helen’s Law, named after 22-year-old Helen McCourt, from St Helens, who was killed in 1988 but whose body was never found, will place an obligation on parole boards to take into account an offenders’ non-disclosure of information before considering their release from prison.

Danielle’s body has never been found after she went missing in Stanford-le-Hope. Campbell did not disclose to police or the courts where her body was, and consistently maintained that he was innocent.

Metcalfe, who spoke in parliament, is pleased that the bill had made it into the chamber, but warned it had come far too late.

He said: “It is right, proper and decent that the parole board should be required to take into account the failure of a prisoner to disclose the whereabouts of a victim’s body.

“The bill has been a long time coming, and at times I was concerned that we may never see it come forward.

“It is about real people, real victims, real families, and real hurt and anguish.

“This legislation is welcome, but, unfortunately, Helen’s law comes too late for some.”

“Although this bill will not bring Danielle back, I hope it will encourage Campbell and others to reconsider their actions and give families some small comfort by revealing the location of victims’ remains.”