Bridgewater killing case evidence 'omitted'

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NEW evidence in the Carl Bridgewater murder case was handed to the Home Office yesterday by campaigners fighting to have the men convicted of the killing cleared, writes Will Bennett.

Research by the Bridgewater Four Support Group shows that at the time of the investigation into the murder of Carl, 13, in Staffordshire in 1978, detectives were convinced that fingerprints found at the scene were those of the killers.

But no fingerprints of the four men convicted, one of whom has since died, were alleged to have been found at Yew Tree Farm, Wordsley, where the newspaper delivery boy was shot. Their lawyer is demanding that any fingerprint evidence be released. Staffordshire Police are taking legal advice.

Jimmy Robinson, now 60, and Vincent Hickey, 39, were both given life sentences for murder with a recommended minimum of 25 years. Michael Hickey, then 16, was detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure, while Pat Malloy was serving 12 years for manslaughter when he died in prison in 1981 aged 53.

Jim Nichol, the men's solicitor, who led a delegation to the Home Office yesterday, said: 'There is evidence that at the time of the killing of Carl Bridgewater the police had fingerprints which they believed belonged to the killers. But there was no fingerprint evidence against the people who I represent at the time of the trial nor could there be because they were not at Yew Tree Farm.'

The delegation met Bob Wood, the Home Office official dealing with the case, yesterday and also handed him a letter from former prisoners cleared in other cases, such as the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four, calling for the case to be referred back to the Court of Appeal.