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Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 08:36 GMT 09:36 UK
Downing given final compensation
Stephen Downing
Stephen Downing has received final compensation for 27 years in jail
A Derbyshire man whose conviction for murder was quashed as unsafe has received his final compensation payment from the Home Office.

Stephen Downing, from Bakewell, served 27 years in prison for the murder of Wendy Sewell in September 1973.

But after reinvestigating the case, Derbyshire Police said they were not looking for anyone else.

Mr Downing, who received an interim compensation payment of 250,000, will not say how much he has now been given.

He was convicted of killing Wendy Sewell in a cemetery on the basis of a confession made after nine hours of questioning.
He wouldn't get into whether it was four, five or six figures
Simon Hare, BBC reporter

He was 17 at the time, but was assessed as having a mental age of 11.

Mr Downing has denied rumours that his final payment was as much as 500,000.

BBC reporter Simon Hare told BBC Radio Derby he had spoken to Mr Downing on Sunday who said that that figure was "way off".

"He said it was less than 500,000 but more than 5. He wouldn't get into whether it was four, five or six figures.

"He made the point that he really does need this latest amount of money. He's been struggling to get work as a freelance photographer."
Wendy Sewell
Wendy Sewell was killed in Bakewell cemetery in 1973

Simon Hare also spoke to former Matlock Mercury editor Don Hale who campaigned to get Mr Downing released.

"Don Hale made the point that in the eyes of the law Stephen Downing was an innocent man and under the double-jeopardy rules the Crown Prosecution Service had said they were not looking to charge Stephen again.

"I also spoke to David Sewell, Wendy's husband. He said he wants to know who authorised the payment and on what grounds - especially as he's still in dispute with the CPS about the double-jeopardy ruling.

"But he said he doesn't care whether Stephen Downing gets two brass buttons or 2m. What he still wants is justice for Wendy and that needs a conviction," Simon Hare added.


SEE ALSO
Downing quizzed over intimidation
03 Mar 04 |  Derbyshire
Downing angry at 'suspect' claim
27 Feb 03 |  England
Downing case still haunts town
04 Apr 02 |  England

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