Who is Maria Pearson and where is she now? | The Sun

MARIA PEARSON has served over 30 years in prison for the murder of Janet Newton in 1986.

Despite numerous appeals for release, she still remains behind bars. This is what we know about her.

Who is Maria Pearson?

Maria Pearson is Britain's longest-serving female prisoner.

She was born March 12, 1956 and is from Hartlepool.

Pearson was jailed in 1987 for the murder of Janet Newton, her ex partners new lover.

The mother-of-three was initially jailed for 12 years for the killing, but has been in prison for over three times that long.


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

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.

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Pearson killed Newton, days after becoming engaged to Malcolm.

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

Where is Maria Pearson now?

Pearson remains in prison, despite her tariff for the crime expiring 23 years ago.

The sentence she has served is closing in on the amount of time spent inside by Moors Murderer Myra Hindley, who spent 36 years behind bars at the time of her death in 2002.

Will Maria Pearson be released from prison?

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.

A Parole Board hearing was held on the January 17, 2023 for Pearson but it was adjourned.

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

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

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