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Campaigner Don collects his medal

Campaigning journalist Don Hale has been presented with his OBE by Prince Charles.

Don, whose efforts to free convicted murderer Stephen Downing propelled him to nationwide fame, took his wife Kath and sons Andrew and Robert to Buckingham Palace.

It took seven years of work to clear Downing’s name and secure his release from prison after 27 years.

The story is set to be dramatised as a television film, and the former Matlock Mercury editor also working on a number of other television projects, as well as becoming a sought-after expert on miscarriages of justice.

Don said: “It was a very proud day. I’ve met Prince Charles a couple of times before.

“He knew who I was and what I’d achieved.”

Don is currently working on scripts for a new television drama about the Mallard steam engine and its attempts to achieve speed records ahead of the Germans. Also on his desk is an American TV drama about murder cases.

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