Sion Jenkins fails in compensation bid

Image caption,
Sion Jenkins was tried three times over the case

Sion Jenkins, who served six years for his foster daughter's murder before he was acquitted, has been refused compensation, it has emerged.

Mr Jenkins had his murder conviction overturned and two subsequent juries were unable to reach verdicts.

Billie-Jo Jenkins, 14, was killed with a metal tent peg at her foster family's home in Hastings, East Sussex, in 1997.

Mr Jenkins had sought up to £500,000 damages. Police say the case is "unresolved".

Billie-Jo's natural father Bill Jenkins has since died of cancer, but his widow, Elizabeth, said her husband would have been delighted compensation was refused "because he felt in his heart that he didn't have any doubt about who did it".

The 62-year-old from Canning Town, east London, said: "Myself and the family think he had a cheek to put in for that money.

"I was pleased that he didn't get it because I don't think he should be a free man.

"As far as I'm concerned he should still be inside but he has just denied it all the time."

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said it would not comment on individual cases.

But a spokesman for the MoJ said: "The Court of Appeal has made clear that, in the court's view, the right test to adopt in deciding whether someone is entitled to compensation is whether they have been shown to be clearly innocent."

A statement posted on the Justice for Sion Jenkins website said the remark was "insidious" and described it as "disturbing".

It said: "In which universe does 'not guilty' mean 'not innocent'?"

In the 1998 trial, Mr Jenkins was convicted of murdering his foster daughter Billie-Jo at the family home in Hastings and jailed for life.

He maintained his innocence, and in 2005 successfully launched an appeal against his conviction. He was released pending a new trial.

He was retried, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Another trial, a year later, also ended with the jury hung.

In a newspaper interview in 2008, Mr Jenkins said during six years he spent in jail he was physically assaulted and members of his family died.

He also said he "lost the childhood of his daughters" who had emigrated to Tasmania with his former wife and her new partner following the original conviction.

Unresolved case

Jenkins, who now lives in Hampshire after marrying new wife Tina Ferneyhough, has written on his website that his priority is to get justice for Billie-Jo.

He said: "Since my acquittal I have been reading through every available piece of evidence.

"I have divided this into relevant sections and, with help from other people, I am in the process of trying to re-create the jigsaw of events.

"I will not rest until Billie's killer is brought to justice. I need to know who ended her life."

Sussex Police said: "The murder of Billie-Jo Jenkins in 1997 remains an unresolved case and is therefore subject to review in the event of any new and compelling evidence coming to light.

"We will continue actively to pursue any viable lines of enquiry put to us, but none have emerged."

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