`Innocent' men on bail after11 years

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The Independent Online
THREE MEN who have spent more than 11 years in jail for a murder they say they did not commit were yesterday freed on bail pending a renewed appeal against their convictions.

The "Cardiff Three" - Michael O'Brien, Ellis Sherwood and Darren Hall - will be released from prison today. O'Brien is in Gartree prison, Leicestershire, and the other two in Whitemoor jail, Cambridgeshire.

Last month, the Criminal Cases Review Commission ruled that their conviction of murdering Philip Saunders, a newsagent in Cardiff, should be referred back to the Court of Appeal. Yesterday, after a private hearing in London, Mr Justice Hooper granted bail at pounds 5,000 each.

Lawyers said later the judge had emphasised that the granting of bail should not be taken as an indication that the renewed appeal would succeed. But the judge had said that a number of features in the case were similar to earlier appeals in which miscarriages of justice had been established.

Mr Saunders was attacked near his home in October 1987 and robbed of his takings.

The findings of the Review Commission are believed to have identified possible breaches of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.