Two cousins cleared after 18 years in prison of the murder of Wordsley newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater are to take their compensation battle to the House of Lords.
Vincent and Michael Hickey have been given permission to challenge a ruling that their compensation should be cut to take into account the fact that during their imprisonment they would have saved money by not having to pay the board and lodging they would have faced had they remained free.
Vincent, aged 49, and Michael, 42 , from Birmingham, were convicted in 1979 following a 25-day trial at Stafford Crown Court of the murder of 13 year-old Carl. The teenager, from Stourbridge, was shot dead in September 1978 at Yew Tree Farm, Wordsley.
After their release, the Hickeys were awarded £ 506,220 and £ 990,000 respectively in compensation for the miscarriage of justice they suffered.
However, an independent assessor then ruled that the figures should be reduced by 25 per cent to reflect the savings they would have made during their time in prison by not having to purchase the necessities of life.
The assessor's decision that the sum should be cut was backed by the Appeal Court in July last year when it dismissed an appeal by the Hickeys. Now three law lords, headed by the UK's senior law lord, Lord Bingham, have given permission for the Hickeys to mount a test case appeal against the 2004 ruling. No date has yet been given for when it will go before the Lords.