UK's longest-serving female prisoner could finally be freed 37 years after murdering ex's new lover in jealous rage | The Sun

BRITAIN'S longest-serving prisoner could finally be freed after serving 35-years for a savage jealousy-fuelled murder.

Maria Pearson, now 66, will be told within weeks if she is to be unleashed for the 1986 slaying of Janet Newton.

The mum-of-three, then 31, was caged a year after stabbing her love rival to death in a frenzied killing.

Pearson buried a sheath knife 17 times into the 23-year-old building society worker after hunting her down a Hartlepool street.

A Parole Board hearing was held on the January 17 for Pearson but it was adjourned.

It came as the board demanded mental health checks and plans for how she will live in the community.

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The killer, aged 31 when she was caged, has served an extra 23-years past her minimum term of 12-years.

A source told MailOnline: "Maria is the prison system's forgotten inmate."

Teeside Crown Court was told the knife skewered Janet's heart and she was left for dead in a pool of blood in Grange Road, Hartlepool.

Pearson, from the city, had married welder Malcolm Pearson bigamously in 1986 – days after the birth of their daughter Rachel.

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But her "intense and stormy" relationship with Malcolm was "doomed" and their baby was taken into care after a serious incident at home.

After the split, Janet got together with Malcolm.

It sparked a rage-fuelled campaign by Pearson who abused Janet in the street and sent bile-filled letters to her mum.

She killed the 23-year-old and was caged via Imprisonment for Public Protection which only gave minimum sentences and no maximum.

In 2006 she had her Parole Board recommendation to be moved to an open prison and prepared for release rejected.

It followed bullying and intimidation allegations two years earlier at an open prison.

She accused then Home Secretary, John Reid, of a "politically motivated" rejection but she was blasted for her "unresponsiveness to treatment and unwillingness to conform".

Pearson's last review in July 2020 was rejected, partly because of her poor behaviour in prison.

The exact date of the Parole Board hearing has not been confirmed.

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A Parole Board spokesperson told MailOnline: "Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care.

"Protecting the public is our number one priority."

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