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Last Updated: Monday, 6 March 2006, 15:40 GMT
Downing retrial 'was considered'
Wendy Sewell
Wendy Sewell died in hospital the day after she was attacked
A retrial of Stephen Downing for the murder of Wendy Sewell was considered after a change in the law, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed.

Mr Downing served 27 years for the murder of Mrs Sewell in Bakewell, Derbyshire, in 1973 until his conviction was ruled unsafe in 2002.

Police gathered new evidence after the ban on "double jeopardy" was altered in April 2005.

A spokesperson for the CPS said it was not compelling enough for a retrial.

Conviction unsafe

Mrs Sewell, a 22-year-old typist, was bludgeoned with a pick-axe handle in Bakewell cemetery and died in hospital the day after the attack.

Mr Downing, who was then 17, worked in the cemetery as a groundsman.

He told police he had found the woman lying on the ground, covered in blood.

A Court of Appeal ruling in January 2002 said Mr Downing's murder conviction had been unsafe.

Derbyshire Police then launched a new inquiry, which found Mr Downing was the only suspect.

David Sewell, Wendy's widower told the BBC he wanted the case of her murder solved. Mr Downing has declined to comment.

Murder case reopens 28 years on
15 Apr 02 |  England

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