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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 11 March, 2003, 17:12 GMT
Bridgewater Two 'jail rent' appeal
Vincent (left) and Michael Hickey on the day their convictions were overturned
The men were released after 18 years in jail
Two men who spent 18 years in jail after being wrongly convicted of killing newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater have asked a judge to overturn a decision that effectively saw them charged 60,000 each for prison board and lodging.

Vincent Hickey, 48, and his cousin Michael, 41, both from Birmingham, launched an appeal in the High Court on Tuesday to have their compensation increased.

An assessor appointed by the Home Office decided the men's compensation settlement should be reduced by about a quarter to take account of "saved living expenses" they would otherwise have incurred as free men.

The Hickeys were jailed for life in 1979 with two other men for the murder of 13-year-old Carl, who was shot dead at Yew Tree Farm, Wordsley, near Stourbridge in the West Midlands.

More compensation

Their convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal in July 1997.

The case is considered to be one of the worst miscarriages of justice in English legal history.

Vincent Hickey has so far received 285,000 interim compensation and Michael Hickey 170,000, but both men are fighting for more money.

The Hickeys asked Mr Justice Maurice Kay to rule, among other things, that the decision to charge a wrongly-convicted person for being fed, clothed and housed while in prison is not reasonable.

The hearing continues.

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