Cannock Chase murderer Raymond Leslie Morris is set to launch a fresh legal battle in his bid for freedom.
Morris has spent 42 years behind bars after being jailed for life in 1969 for the killing of seven-year-old Christine Darby from Walsall two years earlier.
Now aged 81, he is still claiming his innocence and his legal team has won the right to challenge a decision by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) which blocked his case going to the Court of Appeal.
In a statement, Garden Court North Chambers, which is representing Morris, said: “The application for a judicial review is the first stage in his attempts to have the matter referred back to the Court of Appeal after 42 years in prison.”
It said the seven-year CCRC investigation “uncovered evidence of alleged police misconduct”.
The primary ground of appeal relates to allegations that police interview notes, alleging Morris refused to stand on an identification parade, were tampered with.
He has always denied refusing to stand on an ID parade and claims he was only picked out by a man who saw him while handcuffed to a detective more than a year after the killing and a woman who only saw him in court 15 months later.
Morris was also suspected of, but never charged with, the murders of Diane Tift, five, and Margaret Reynolds, six, whose bodies were also found buried on the Cannock beauty spot.
In an interview in 2001, Morris denied murdering Christine and any involvement in the other Cannock Chase killings.
He said: “There was no DNA evidence involved in my case, in fact there was no forensic evidence of any kind. I was convicted on very dubious circumstantial evidence and so-called identification evidence.”
The case will be heard at Leeds Administrative Court next month.
Convicted criminals who think they have been victim of a miscarriage of justice can ask the CCRC to investigate evidence not put before the jury at their original trial or subsequent appeal.
The CCRC can refer cases to the Court of Appeal where judges decide whether a conviction should be overturned.
If the CCRC refuses to refer the matter, it signals the end of the appeal bid unless new evidence is uncovered.