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Tuesday, 7 December, 1999, 17:01 GMT
Rape case tycoon released
Owen Oyston has maintained his innocence.


Disgraced businessman Owen Oyston has been released after serving three-and-a-half years of a six-year sentence for rape.

Oyston, 56, was jailed in 1996 for raping a 16-year-old girl at his Claughton Hall country home in Lancashire.

The former chairman of Blackpool Football Club was released after appealing in the High Court against a Parole Board decision not to grant him parole, as he had not admitted to his crime.

Under normal parole terms, Oyston would have been due for release in May.

Following his release, he said he planned to work to clear his name.

He said: "I am please to be going home, but there will be no celebration until my name is cleared."

The businessman said at the time of his trial that he had been the victim of a "dirty tricks" conspiracy by two former government ministers.

After his release he repeated claims of a conspiracy - alleging that three months before his arrest police had been told by a businessman in the West Midlands that he had paid 5,000 to a woman to "set Owen up".

Out-of-court settlement

Mr Dale Campbell-Savours MP has asked the Criminal Cases Review Commission to take up the case.

Oyston's solicitor, Jeremy Moore, said: "Owen hopes that his successful judicial review which has now led to his release on parole, will help to free the thousands of other innocent prisoners of conscience languishing in prison."

Oyston's victim, with whom he reached an out-of-court settlement earlier this year, still receives the help of the Victim Support Scheme.

A police source close to the investigation said: "She now just wants to put the whole thing behind her."

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See also:
14 Apr 99 |  UK
Tycoon's rape parole denied
12 Dec 97 |  UK
Jailed Oyston could lose radio stations
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