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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2007, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
Innocent man to pay for jail time
Warren Blackwell
Warren Blackwell was freed after more than three years in prison
A 37-year-old man jailed for a crime he did not commit is being charged almost 7,000 for his time in prison.

Warren Blackwell from Woodford Halse, Northamptonshire, has been told the sum will be deducted from compensation to cover savings on rent and food.

He spent three years in jail convicted of sexually assaulting a woman with a history of false claims against men.

The Ministry of Justice said deductions were normal procedure and should not be called "bed and breakfast" costs.

An appeal hearing said Mr Warren's conviction was unsafe because the woman had made similar accusations in the past about other men.

The purpose of the compensation is to put an individual back into the financial position they would have been in... but not to a better position
Ministry of Justice statement

Mr Warren was told he would receive compensation minus 6,800, which has been assessed as the amount of money he had saved from normal expenses while in jail.

He said: "I was flabbergasted when I was told. How can they justify charging innocent people when murderers live rent free?"

The Ministry of Justice said in a statement: "It's wrong to refer to the deductions as 'bed and breakfast' as they are made in respect of the costs an individual would have had to pay out of their net income on things such as a mortgage or rent.

"The purpose of the compensation is to put an individual back into the financial position they would have been in but for the miscarriage of justice, but not to a better position."

Mr Blackwell said there was no chance of that happening in his case because his legal bills were huge.

"My parents contributed tens of thousands of pounds and friends added to the fighting fund."

The amount of Mr Blackwell's compensation is yet to be decided, although he said he thought it would be in the region of 100,000.

Warren Blackwell is to fight the bill of about 7,000

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19 Oct 06 |  UK Politics
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