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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 June 2007, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Police payout to wrongly accused
Two people arrested and imprisoned over a murder they did not commit have been paid "substantial" damages by police.

Nightclub doorman Kevin Nightingale was shot outside his South Tyneside home in 1996. His killer has never been found.

Charges against Joanne Morgan and Shaun Doyle were later dropped and they sued Northumbria Police for wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution.

Their High Court action was halted when police agreed, without any admission of liability, to pay damages and costs.

Mr Doyle, now 34, and Mrs Morgan, now 33, both from Hebburn, and Mrs Morgan's husband Ian, also now 34, who was not part of the legal action, had always denied the killing of their friend.

'Lives blighted'

The three were charged in 2000 but the case was later dropped.

In July 2001 they were charged again, but walked free from court after the case against them was dropped for a second time in January 2002.

They had spent weeks in prison and claimed their lives had been blighted by the events.

Mrs Morgan won legal aid to launch the action, which began in Newcastle on Tuesday.

It was halted after a day, when Northumbria Police agreed a settlement.

The Chief Constable has agreed to pay substantial damages and their legal costs
David Forrester, solicitor

David Forrester, solicitor for the three said in a statement: "Ian Morgan, Shaun Doyle and Joanne Morgan have finally been fully vindicated.

"The Chief Constable has accepted that they are totally innocent of any involvement in the murder of their friend Kevin Nightingale.

"The Chief Constable has agreed to pay substantial damages and their legal costs."

He added that the three had "no doubt that following their total and absolute vindication, Northumbria Police will redouble their efforts to find the murderer of their friend Kevin Nightingale."

In a statement Northumbria Police said: "The Chief Constable accepts that Ian Morgan, Joanne Morgan and Shaun Doyle are innocent of any involvement in the murder of Kevin Nightingale.

"The Chief Constable has agreed, without any admission of liability, to pay damages and costs to Joanne Morgan and Shaun Doyle."


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