Man wrongly jailed for paperboy murder given community order for drug offences (From Redditch Advertiser)
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Man wrongly jailed for paperboy murder given community order for drug offences
5:10pm Friday 15th February 2013 in News
A NORTH Worcestershire man who was cleared of the murder of Stourbridge newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater has appeared at Worcester Crown Court for drug offences.
Barrister Sam Blom-Cooper said that 57-year-old Vincent Hickey had been compensated for the 19 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit but was now of limited means.
He was receiving a disability living allowance and caring for his mother. He had spent £150,000 on servicing his drug habit.
Mr Blom-Cooper asked for a reporting restriction so that Hickey's address should not be published. He said he could supply "unique and compelling" mitigation.
Judge Richard Rundell agreed that the restriction imposed in November by Judge Patrick Thomas QC should remain.
Prosecutor Ian Ball had applied for £1,200 court costs but the judge said he was not prepared to make an order in what he termed was "an unusual and unique" case.
Hickey pleaded guilty to possession of amphetamine with intent to supply. Mr Ball said £2,100 worth of the drug was found in his freezer.
He had already pleaded guilty before magistrates to other drugs charges involving heroin and an illegal tablet. Small amounts were found in his car when he was stopped by police.
Mr Blom-Cooper said that Hickey was acting as custodian for the drugs for a short time.
Giving Hickey a two-year community order, the Judge Rundell said it was an unusual and perhaps unique case. Hickey had a long standing addiction to drugs. "We all know where you got that and you should not have been there at the time," he added. "I am sorry it happened."
Hickey will undertake a drug rehabilitation course supervised by the probation service