Killer Raymond Leslie Morris has claimed he is innocent of the Cannock Chase murders – 42 years after he was jailed.
Morris was handed a life sentence for abducting, sexually assaulting and killing seven-year-old Christine Darby in 1969.
He was also the prime suspect in the murders of six-year-old Margaret Reynolds, from Aston, in Birmingham, and five-year-old Diane Tift, from Bloxwich, but the cases were left on file by prosecutors.
But in his first statement issued more than four decades after his conviction to our sister newspaper the Sunday Mercury, Morris – who is now 81 – claimed he did not kill the three schoolgirls.
He said: “No acquisitions of guilt can ever compensate the loss that the families involved must feel.
“But I will always maintain that I am not responsible for the murder of Christine Darby and hopefully my fight for justice will uncover the truth.
“I can only say over and over again, I didn’t do it, and hope that someone will listen.”
Morris is one of the oldest prisoners in the UK and will die behind bars if his conviction is not overturned. His lawyer confirmed Morris was appealing both in Britain and at the European Court of Human Rights.
Solicitor Amy-Jo Cutts said: “Following a seven-year investigation into the safety of the conviction, the Criminal Cases Review Commission was forced to concede that they had uncovered evidence supporting Mr Morris’ account of police malpractice.”
She added if Morris won his appeal, he would become the victim of the longest running miscarriage of justice in Britain.