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Thursday, March 15, 2007 

Injustice multiplied.

Imagine, if you will, that you've been wrongly convicted of murder. That your conviction itself was the result of the police fabricating evidence and beating you and the others convicted alongside yourself. That during your 18 years in prison, you were regarded as amongst the lowest of the low as a result of the fact that you were convicted of killing a child, enduring assault and having your food tampered with on numerous occasions, including being tainted with glass and urine.

After those 18 years you're finally free, and cleared of any involvement in the now unsolved murder. In the compensation paid out to you however, the Home Office deducts what it regards as a suitable amount for your board and lodging. Somehow, the fact that even outside prison you still have to pay for the time you wrongly spent inside, eating tampered with food, every day wondering whether you'd ever escape from what one judge would eventually describe as a "prolonged kidnapping" adds insult on to over a decade of injury.

This is what the Hickeys, two of those convicted of murdering the newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater, have now had to face up to. Appealing to the highest court in the land against this obvious and disgraceful injustice, they lost by a majority decision of 4-1. The judges, trying to justify the unjustifiable, suggested the deductions should be seen as "expenses" they would have had to pay if they had in fact been able to work. That's all right then.

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