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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 July, 2004, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Bridgewater pair have awards cut
Vincent and Michael Hickey
Vincent and Michael Hickey spent 18 years in prison
Two men wrongly convicted of killing newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater must pay for "board and lodgings" received while in prison.

Vincent Hickey, 49, and his cousin Michael, 42, both from Birmingham, spent 18 years in jail for the murder of 13-year-old Carl, from Stourbridge.

Michael Hickey had originally been awarded 990,000 in compensation and Vincent Hickey 506,220.

Now their compensation will be cut by 25%, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

'Lawful' decision

Michael Hickey's mother, Anne Whelan, described the ruling as "outrageous".

She said: "The judgement is outrageous completely.

"And this bed and breakfast caper - they are locked in their cell and the doors are slammed shut, behind those doors they count every second, every minute, every hour and it goes on and on and on."

Lord Brennan QC awarded the men the money, subject to deductions for living expenses which they otherwise would have paid as free men.

An independent assessor then ruled the cousins' awards should be reduced by a quarter.

That ruling was overturned in April last year by a High Court judge, Mr Justice Maurice Kay, who said the deduction was wrong in law and should be quashed.

But Lord Brennan, the Home Office-appointed assessor, appealed on the grounds that his original decision was "lawful and reasonable".

Newspaper boy Carl was killed in September 1978 at Yew Tree Farm, Wordsley, West Midlands, by a single shot from a shotgun.

The cousins were among four men who stood trial for his murder in November 1979. The Hickeys, James Robinson and Patrick Molloy were found guilty following a 25-day trial at Stafford Crown Court.

Mr Molloy died in prison in June 1981, aged 53.

Appeals by the surviving three defendants were rejected in 1989, but eight years later the case was referred back to the Court of Appeal and their convictions were quashed.




SEE ALSO:
Bridgewater two win court battle
16 Apr 03  |  England
Bridgewater Two 'jail rent' appeal
11 Mar 03  |  England


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