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Hale's fight rewarded with OBE

Former Matlock Mercury editor Don Hale has been awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

It was recognition for his fight to free convicted murderer Stephen Downing from prison after 27 years.

The award is the latest in a string of accolades for the campaigning journalist, who has been at the centre of worldwide media attention since winning the eight-year-long fight.

He said: “When you’ve had an eight-year battle against two prime ministers, 12 ministers and three home secretaries, you don’t really expect such an honour.”

Since the court victory he has addressed MPs on criminal justice, been asked to help plea for mercy for a prisoner on death row in America, and written a novel about the Downing affair Town Without Pity.

To find out more about Don Hale’s fight for Stephen Downing, click here.

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E-mail pastill@nep.co.uk