Nicola Payne case: Two accused found not guilty

The two accused in the murder case of 18-year-old Nicola Payne have been cleared of murder charges.

The mother of a seven month old, Nicola disappeared on 14 December 1991 in Coventry.

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Nicola Payne's brother on family's anguish after verdict

The brother of missing Nicola Payne has described how his family are devastated at the not guilty verdicts given to two men who've been cleared of her abduction and murder.

The teenage mother went missing in Coventry in 1991 while walking to her parents house.

Today, Thomas O'Reilly and Nigel Barwell were found not guilty of killing her.

Speaking on the steps of Birmingham Crown Court after the verdicts were given, Nigel Payne said:

For nearly 24 years we have lived daily in the anguish of not knowing what's happened to our beloved Nicola, and worse than that to this day not even knowing where she is.

– Nigel Payne

Nigel also went on to thank West Midlands Police for their work in trying to find out what happened to his sister, and to the public for their messages of support since Nicola went missing.


'This was always going to be a difficult and complex inquiry'

West Midlands Police have said the Nicola Payne case was always going to be a 'difficult and complex inquiry due to the length of time of the investigation'.

Two men have been cleared of murdering 18-year-old Nicola Payne in Coventry in 1991.

Nicola Payne was last seen in December 1991. Credit: West Midlands Police

This was always going to be a difficult and complex inquiry due to the length of time of the investigation.

The case was revisited and diligently and meticulously investigated by a team of experienced officers, before the decision was made to arrest two people.

Extensive evidence was presented to the Crown Prosecution Service, which they agreed was significant enough to lead to two people being charged and brought before the courts.

Our criminal justice system quite rightly demands a high standard of proof and we acknowledge today’s verdict from the Jury.

Our thoughts remain with Nicola’s family.

– Detective Superintendent Mark Payne, West Midlands Police

He further added that the case will always remain open and they will investigate any new evidence which comes to light.


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