A man who served time behind bars for killing a schoolgirl before her actual killer was found 41 years later is to appeal against his conviction.
Noel Jones, 59, had been accused of the murder of 15-year-old Janet Commins at Flint but was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years and served six years behind bars.
However, last month Stephen Hough was judged by a jury at Mold Crown Court to have been the real killer after being trapped by DNA.
Yesterday Mr Jones issued a statement to announce he was lodging an appeal.
He said: “In July 2017, Stephen Hough was convicted and sentenced for the killing of Janet Commins. I was originally charged with the murder of Miss Commins in 1976.
”The confession I gave during that investigation was false and only given under pressure.
“During the original trial for murder, when offered a chance to plead guilty to manslaughter, I felt I had no option but to take that plea due to the false confession I had made, even though I knew I was completely innocent.
”I was only 18 years old at the time.
“I was sentenced to 12 years in custody, of which I served six years.
“When new DNA techniques enabled the crown to match DNA on Miss Commins to Stephen Hough, and completely exclude me from any forensic findings, I was asked by the police to provide a statement to assist them in the prosecution of Stephen Hough.
”I then gave evidence for the prosecution during the trial.
“I was relieved when justice was finally done upon the conviction of Stephen Hough.
”I would like to publicly express my condolences to the family of Miss Commins and was very moved that at the sentence hearing of Stephen Hough they gave some kind words of sympathy and support for me.
“Further I would like to thank many other people who have sent kind and supportive words in relation to what happened to me over 40 years ago.
“Now the trial is over I have instructed my solicitors, Humphrys (correct) Dawson to pursue an appeal against my conviction. The initial steps relating to that procedure have already been taken.”