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Wednesday, July 29, 1998 Published at 00:57 GMT 01:57 UK


'Bridgewater Four' demand action against police

Three of Bridgewater Four celebrate release

Three men wrongfully convicted of the murder of paperboy Carl Bridgewater are stepping up pressure on the Director of Public Prosecutions to take action against the police involved in the case.

They have written to the DPP to ask why there has been such a delay in deciding whether to bring proceedings against six officers implicated in the affair.

Michael Hickey, 36, Vincent Hickey, 43, and Jimmy Robinson, 64, spent 18 years in jail for the murder of paperboy Carl Bridgewater.

They were freed a year ago after the Court of Appeal quashed their convictions because of tainted police evidence.

Their letter, addressed to Dame Barbara Mills, says: "Nothing can compensate us and our families for the time that has been lost.

''But an important step in rebuilding our lives would be to know that action will be taken against some of those who caused this grave miscarriage of justice.

"We urge you to publicly announce that legal action will be taken against these police officers. Public confidence in British justice demands it."

Carl Bridgewater was 13 when he was killed by a single shot to the head at close range after he stumbled across a burglary at Yew Tree Farm near Stourbridge in September 1978.

A fourth man convicted of his murder Patrick Molloy died in prison in 1981 aged 53.

The men were dubbed the Bridgewater Four during the bitter campaign to clear their names.

In a damning judgement, the Court of Appeal said police conduct in the case had caused them grave concern.

The judges decided the police had tricked Molloy into making a confession implicating the other three men.

They said the officers' account of Molloy's confession was ''most improbable, if not impossible''.

The judge's referred three areas of police conduct to the DPP to decide whether charges should be brought against the officers concerned.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman confirmed it had received the letter and the complaint was under consideration.

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