Monday, March 23, 2009

£46 award for innocent man's 27 years in prison

Sean Hodgson, who spent 27 years in jail for a crime he did not commit, has been given just £46 by the government with which to restart his life.

The Prison Service has awarded the mentally ill former prisoner the equivalent of £1.70 for every year he was wrongly imprisoned.

The payout, a resettlement grant to help ease the victim of one of Britain's gravest miscarriages of justice back into society, has been condemned as "the final insult".

Julian Young, Hodgson's solicitor, said: "I am absolutely astounded. I find it quite unbelievable, it is scandalous that, in these exceptional circumstances, additional funds could not be found. He has served 27 years for something he didn't do and this is just insulting."

Hodgson, who requires psychiatric care and is described as deeply institutionalised, is staying at a hostel in central London. Lawyers said the payment, designed to tide the 57-year-old over until he can start supporting himself or apply for emergency loans, had left Hodgson even more confused following his release last week.

"He has no idea of budgeting or the cost of living. Every element of society - and his life - has changed," said Young.

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