THE son of a woman who died in Clacton eight years ago has said he is “absolutely over the moon” after receiving news that her killer will not be released this year despite previous plans.

Kathleen Griffin, 57, was tied up and tortured by Scott Hilling in 2015 after letting him take refuge at her home.

Hilling was locked up for 16 years in 2016 after admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He had been due to be released in December.

Mr McMullan had fought against Hilling being freed just under halfway through his sentence.

He has said he is “absolutely over the moon” and “ecstatic” after receiving the news that Hilling will remain behind bars.

Mr McMullan added: “Absolutely over the moon, I’m ecstatic. Words just can’t say enough at the moment.

"Fighting a whole year for this and about three weeks before he’s released, the government decides to overrule and put a block on his release. 

“At least I get to have an awesome Christmas, knowing that he’s in there for at least another year. At least I know there’s other families out there that can enjoy their Christmas without worrying about losing another family member. 

“That’s what I was fighting for. I didn’t want what happened to me to happen to another family.”

In his efforts, Mr McMullan was assisted by the charity Hundred Families which supports families who have lost loved ones as a result of killings by people with serious mental illness.

Gazette: Loss - Kathleen Griffin was murdered in Clacton in 2015Loss - Kathleen Griffin was murdered in Clacton in 2015 (Image: Essex Police)

Mr McMullan said: “I take it that someone from the Ministry of Justice wasn’t happy with their reply to us.

"They looked over the emails and someone from the Ministry of Justice automatically goes, ‘this needs to be put a block on."

He added: “He killed my mum on December 18, so a few days before Christmas.

"I never got to say Happy Christmas to my mum. 

“I want children out there to say Merry Christmas to their mum on Christmas Day.”

At present, Mr McMullan understands Hilling’s case will be reviewed by the parole board on an annual basis.