A REDDITCH man wrongly found guilty of attempted rape and who served 17 years in prison is suing west mercia police.

Former postman Victor Nealon was convicted of attacking a woman outside a nightclub in Redditch in 1996.

He was told in December 2013 that after spending almost two decades in prison for a crime he did not commit, he was a free man.

Mr Nealon is now suing West Mercia police for £1million in damages.

It has been reported that his lawyer, Mark Newby, claimed his client was targeted by police based on a number of previous sexual convictions and because they had no other suspects.

Mr Newby also said that police failed to obtain CCTV from the nightclub which could have shown Mr Nealon was not at the club that night.

Mr Nealon, who spent 17 years in Wakefield Prison, was convicted in January 1997 for an attack on a young woman leaving Racquets nightclub in Redditch in 1996.

He denied attempted rape but was convicted after a trial at Hereford Crown Court and given a life term.

An appeal in 1998 failed.

The Advertiser reported in 2010 how crucial forensic evidence was left untested and independent tests carried out found matching traces of saliva and other DNA samples on the victim's blouse and bra from an unknown male.

His conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2013.

The incident involved the victim walking home with a friend when she was grabbed from behind and forced to the floor.

Both women and a series of witnesses remembered seeing the attacker at the club, who was distinguished by an egg-sized lump on his forehead.

Mr Nealon, who did not have a lump on his forehead, was invited by police to join an identification parade where only two of the seven witnesses picked him out.

Det Supt Damian Barratt, head of major investigations for West Mercia, said that there was an ongoing legal claim relating to the case and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment at this time.