Innocent Man Released From Jail After 27 Years – Struck With Taxi

March 26, 2009

(ChattahBox)—This story out of London this morning, Sean Hodgson, now 58, was sentenced to life in prison 27 years ago, when he was just 31-years old, for a murder he never committed. When advances in DNA evidence, proved he could not have committed the crime of the 1979 strangulation death of a young women, Hodgson was released and promptly struck by a London taxicab, spending his first weekend of blessed freedom in a hospital.

Hodgson’s solicitor says the taxicab incident shows Hodgson is not used to navigating in the twenty-first century. He is like a modern day version of Rip Van Winkle, waking up to a strange new world he doesn’t understand. When Hodgson was locked away in Albany Prison on the Isle of Wight in 1979, Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, Duran Duran was an up and coming band and cell phones, personal computers and the Internet were non-existent.

Hodgson’s troubles began when he was already in jail for stealing a car, and for whatever reason, confessed to the murder of twenty-two year old barmaid, Teresa De Simone. Despite later retracting his jailhouse confession, saying he was a “pathological liar,” Hodgen was convicted of De Simone’s murder in 1982. Over the ensuing decades, he professed his innocence, to no avail.

Finally, last year, he contacted his solicitor, who proceeded to get a DNA sample from Hodgen and compared it to the DNA evidence found at the scene. The tests showed Hodgson’s DNA didn’t match, and he was released with a prison discharge grant of 46 pounds. He headed straight to the nearest pub with his brother Pete to enjoy a long overdue pint and a smoke. Hodgson was dismayed to learn that the pubs no longer allow smoking.

Meanwhile, Hodgson is seeking compensation from the government for wrongful imprisonment, which is capped at 500,000 pounds, but he is also pursuing a claim against the Forensic Science Service for failing to disclose to his solicitor, of the existence of the DNA evidence collected from the crime scene. His solicitor was told ten years ago by the FSS that none existed.

Hodgsonn is being put up in small hotel paid for by the Royal Court of Justice. Small as the hotel room may be, it must feel like a palace to Hodgson after spending nearly 30 years in a small prison cell.


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