AddThis SmartLayers

Blair praise for Mercury editor

The editor of the Matlock Mercury has received praise from the Prime Minister for his campaign to win an appeal for Stephen Downing.

Prisoner Stephen Downing was set free on bail on Wednesday, pending his appeal, after 27 years in jail for a murder he says he did not commit.

West Derbyshire MP Patrick McLoughlin asked Tony Blair to pay tribute to Stephen Downing’s family and Mercury Don Hale.

The Prime Minister told the Commons, during Question Time: “I am happy to pay tribute both to the work of the family on behalf of Mr Downing and to the Matlock Mercury editor, who has championed the cause.

“I am only pleased that, after such a long time, this case is finally at an end.”

Don Hale, who has spearheaded the campaign to clear Downing’s name since 1994, said after the hearing: “I was confident the case was strong, but after all the obstacles over the past few years it was difficult to predict what would happen.

“This should have happened before Christmas, but better late than never. It comes as a very pleasant surprise.”

Back to the campaigns index

Do you have a story for us?
Ring the HoldTheFrontPage newsdesk on
01332 291111 x6022, or e-mail us now