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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 August 2005, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Bridgewater Two in payout appeal
Vincent and Michael Hickey
Vincent and Michael Hickey spent 18 years in prison
Two men wrongly convicted of the murder of paperboy Carl Bridgewater have won the right to take their compensation battle to the House of Lords.

Vincent Hickey, 49, and Michael Hickey, 42, of Birmingham, were jailed in 1979.

A court ruled in July 2004 the cousins should pay money saved in "board and lodgings" for their 18 years in prison.

The Appeal Court upheld that decision, but the Hickeys have now successfully petitioned the Law Lords for the right to continue their compensation fight.

Shotgun round

In April 2003 Michael Hickey was awarded 990,000, and Vincent Hickey 506,220, to compensate for the miscarriage of justice.

But the Home Office assessor, Lord Brennan QC, later ruled that the awards should be reduced to take account of the living expenses the cousins had not spent during their imprisonment.

That ruling was later overturned, but Lord Brennan went on to successfully appeal against the decision.

The Hickeys were eventually left with only one avenue of appeal, which was to petition the Law Lords directly.

In a decision just published, they have ruled the Hickeys may mount a test case against the Appeal Court's support for Lord Brennan's reduction in the compensation award.

Newspaper boy Carl, 13, from Stourbridge, was killed in September 1978 at Yew Tree Farm, Wordsley, West Midlands, by a single shotgun round.

In November 1979, the Hickeys, along with James Robinson and Patrick Molloy, were convicted of murder following a 25-day trial at Stafford Crown Court.

Mr Molloy died in prison in June 1981, aged 53.

Appeals by the surviving three were rejected in 1989, but eight years later the case was referred back to the Court of Appeal and their convictions were quashed.

Bridgewater Two appeal rejected
21 Dec 04 |  West Midlands
Bridgewater pair have awards cut
29 Jul 04 |  West Midlands
Bridgewater two win court battle
16 Apr 03 |  England

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