19 Mar 2009

Man freed after 27 years in UK prison

7:36 am on 19 March 2009

A British court has cleared a man of a murder conviction for which he spent 27 years in prison.

The Court of Appeal has ruled Sean Hodgson's conviction for the murder of a 22 year old barmaid was "unsafe" and should be quashed in the light of DNA evidence unavailable at the time of his trial in 1982.

In 1979, Teresa De Simone, 22, was found raped and strangled in her car in a car park below a bar where she worked in the town of Southampton.

Mr Hodgson, who was in the area at the time, was convicted on the basis of confessions he made, but later retracted, and on a match of common blood types.

The BBC reports tests prove DNA from the scene was not his and police have reopened the case.