Men jailed for newsboy's murder win legal challenge

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

LAWYERS acting for three men jailed for the murder of the newspaper delivery boy Carl Bridgewater yesterday won permission to challenge the Home Secretary's refusal to disclose information which they believe could help in their campaign for freedom.

Mr Justice Laws said it was 'arguable' the three were entitled to know the substance of the points upon which Kenneth Clarke, when he was Home Secretary in February last year, decided not to refer their case back to the Court of Appeal.

The judge granted them leave to seek a judicial review after rejecting the Home Office argument that it would be 'premature' to allow the challenge in view of the fact that Michael Howard, the current Home Secretary, was considering a fresh petition for the case to be reopened.

The judge's decision was a victory for Michael Hickey, Vincent Hickey and James Robinson, who were all found guilty of killing the 13-year-old at Yew Tree Farm, Wordsley, Staffordshire, in September 1978. Robinson, 59, and Vincent Hickey, 39, are serving life sentences for murder. Michael Hickey, 31, a minor at the time of the killing, is detained at Her Majesty's pleasure. A fourth man, Pat Molloy, who was jailed for 12 years for Carl's manslaughter, died in 1981.

Jim Nichol, the men's solicitor, said: 'We are delighted with the decision. The Home Secretary has got evidence substantially in support of the applicants' case and it is something we should know about and not something he is entitled to sit on and keep as a private matter.'