A woman who witnessed the brutal murder of her mother when she was just 15 fears that the man who did it will soon be completely free.

The government has announced plans to reduce the amount of time that an offender on license while serving Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences must wait until they can have their license reviewed. It is set to decrease from 10 years to three, in a bid to prevent miscarriages of justice caused by the now-defunct sentences.

But the daughter of one murdered mother, Roann Court, 30, believes that it will put people at risk.

She said that these changes will mean that the person who killed and tried to decapitate her mother, Claire Marshall, while she and her younger sister watched on in horror, before later almost killing his own stepfather, will be completely free from restrictions just 14 years after it happened.

She said: “I think this justice system is shameful. There needs to be a level of protection for people, and we’ve recently seen that even with Clare’s Law there are failings there. What is being done to protect victims?

Swindon Advertiser: Claire Marshall was in the process of moving back to Swindon from Cumbria after bravely ending her abusive relationship when her ex-partner killed herClaire Marshall was in the process of moving back to Swindon from Cumbria after bravely ending her abusive relationship when her ex-partner killed her (Image: Newsquest)“He will have only spent nine years in jail for killing my mum, and he could soon be a completely free man able to start his life again, while my sisters and I, and my family, have to live with what he did to her forever.

“But I am also worried. I am scared that he will come and find us and nothing is in place to stop him. But I also think about what happens if he finds another woman, another family, and puts them through that?”

Swindon woman Claire, who was 35, had been in a long-term abusive relationship with Benjamin Alan Cooper, 49.

He had moved her from Wiltshire to Cumbria as part of his attempt to exert control over her, Roann said.

But 18 months before her death, Claire made the brave decision to finally leave and was in the middle of making plans to move back to Swindon with her three children, Roann, Rebecca who was already back in Swindon, and Hannah, who was Benjamin’s daughter.

It is a moment that Roann still vividly remembers 15 years on.

“The only way I can describe his demeanour was like a nature programme where a lion is stalking an antelope,” she said.

“He asked me to get my sister’s car seat out of the car and the moment I stepped out of the house he jumped my mum and started beating her, he took a penknife out of his pocket and started slitting her throat.

“I ran in to get my sister and took her to my neighbours, I then went back into the house and saw him coming out with a big knife he’d gotten from the kitchen, I found my mum on the living room floor, she told me she loved me and to look after the girls always.”

Insisting on still seeing his daughter who was two-and-a-half at the time, he turned up unexpectedly at Claire’s home on January 24, 2009, where he attacked and killed her in front of her children.

Then, covered in blood, he went to the house of his stepfather Gerald Fern and tried to kill him, hitting him in the back of the head with a meat cleaver, and attacking him with further knives in a frenzied attack that the victim barely survived.

In court a year later, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and also to the attempted murder of his stepfather.

Cooper was given an IPP, with a minimum term of six years, before he was entitled to apply to the Parole Board for release.

He was in a secure psychiatric unit until 2014 when he was transferred to a prison for another five years before he was then released under license, with conditions including having to report regularly to a parole officer, not being allowed to contact certain people, and not being allowed to enter Wiltshire.

But, because he has already served five years under license, a letter written to Roann from her victim support officer, who is now married with a “wonderful husband and two beautiful kids”, revealed it was possible that his sentence would be ended and he would be completely free to live his life.

Swindon Advertiser: Roann Court believes these changes could put people at riskRoann Court believes these changes could put people at risk (Image: Roann Court)

Roann has spent her adult life advocating for victims of domestic abuse and she strongly believes that these changes will put people at risk.

Roann added: “The reason for doing all of this is to give those who died a voice, they don’t have a voice when they were alive, so if I can tell my story, or mum’s story, and it can influence or change things so I save just one person, then my mum didn’t die for nothing."

The proposal will go before Parliament as part of the Victims and Prisoners Bill this summer.