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  1. ITV Report

Freed prisoners lose compensation fight

Sam Hallam and Victor Nealon had their convictions overturned after serving years behind bars Photo: PA/ITV News Central

Two men, who between them spent more than 24 years in jail before having their convictions overturned, have lost their fight for compensation today.

The High Court dismissed legal challenges brought by Sam Hallam and Victor Nealon in a test case challenging a law introduced last year which narrowed the eligibility for compensation awards for 'miscarriage of justice' victims.

Both men were set free after serving lengthy jail sentences when appeal judges ruled fresh evidence made their convictions unsafe.

Sam Hallam had a murder conviction against him overturned in 2012 Credit: Mike Hornby/PA

Hallam had a conviction for murder overturned in 2012 after spending more than seven years behind bars and Nealon had a conviction for attempted rape quashed in 2013 after serving 17 years of a life sentence.

Paul May, chair of the Sam Hallam Defence Campaign, described the dismissal of the compensation case as "a sad day for justice and the presumption of innocence" and said he hoped the Court of Appeal would overturn the judgment.

May said: "The callous refusal of the Ministry of Justice to compensate this innocent man is truly shameful."

Victor Nealon has been in prison for 17 years Credit: ITV News Central

Hallam and Nealon had argued the new law, introduced by the previous coalition government, was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights and "wrongly restricts compensation in miscarriage of justice cases".