Police quiz man over Nickell murder

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The Independent Online

The man once accused of the unsolved murder of Rachel Nickell today welcomed news that a new suspect was being questioned over the young mother's death.

Rachel, a 23-year-old ex-model, was stabbed 49 times while walking on Wimbledon Common with her two-year-old son on July 15, 1992.

The killer has never been caught.

Scotland Yard last night confirmed officers were interviewing a 40-year-old man, who has not been named.

Colin Stagg, from Roehampton, west London, was prosecuted for the murder, but cleared in 1994.

A judge threw the case out on the grounds that police had used a "honey trap" plot to encourage him to confess.

Today Mr Stagg told Sky News: "I'm glad the police are actually doing their job properly and they've got this man now.

"If he's guilty of this crime he deserves everything he gets, for the sake of the family."

But he said he thought he would never be able to escape the consequences of being linked to the brutal murder.

"I've always been associated with the Rachel Nickell case and I'll never shake that off really.

"You will always have people who will always believe I had something to do with it in some way.

"They'll just think there's no smoke without fire, and the police had every reason to arrest me.

He added: "I think the police had gone so far in this case against me, and then convincing not only themselves but the family and the press and media that I was guilty of this crime, they didn't want to make themselves look like fools by backtracking, and saying 'I think we've got it wrong with Colin Stagg'."

A Scotland Yard spokesman declined to comment on reports the man being questioned was believed to be in Broadmoor secure hospital in Berkshire.

He said: "Metropolitan Police officers investigating the murder of 23-year-old Rachel Nickell on July 15 1992 are interviewing a 40-year-old man today.

"The interview is part of an on-going inquiry into Rachel's murder."

It is understood the man had not been arrested.