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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 06:13 GMT 07:13 UK
Abuse campaigner to sue police
Steven Messham
Steven Messham was cleared of fraud earlier this year
North Wales Police is facing legal action from a campaigner against child abuse who claims the force has not returned his property.

Steven Messham, 42, from Buckley, was cleared of false accounting at Chester Crown Court in January this year.

Mr Messham claims items seized by officers at the time of his arrest have still not been returned to him.

A judge at Chester County Court has granted North Wales Police an extra 42 days to prepare a defence.

Mr Messham was arrested in 2001 on suspicion of making false claims to receive 33,000 in housing, income and council tax benefits between 1995 and 2000.

In January this year he was acquitted of five counts of false accounting by a jury at Chester Crown Court.

But Mr Messham has alleged that property including a computer, personal papers and his house keys have not been returned to him.

On Monday, a judge at Chester County Court granted North Wales Police an extra 42 days to prepare a defence.

The judge refused the force's application for costs for the hearing.

In the 1990s Mr Messham had been a leading campaigner in the setting up of a public inquiry into child abuse in care homes after he himself had been a victim as a youngster.

Mr Messham also helped set up Norwas (North Wales Abuse Survivors) which helped counsel victims of abuse.


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