Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

STAGG AWARDED [Pounds Sterling]250,000 PAYOUT; Now Nickell Case Suspect May Sue Met

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

STAGG AWARDED [Pounds Sterling]250,000 PAYOUT; Now Nickell Case Suspect May Sue Met

Article excerpt

Byline: JUSTIN DAVENPORT

THE man cleared of the murder of Rachel Nickell has been awarded [pounds sterling]250,000.

Colin Stagg, 43, was said to be delighted by the payout from the Home Office which is compensation for the year he spent in jail awaiting trial.

He is now set to sue the Met for a further [pounds sterling]1 million for malicious prosecution. His solicitor Alex Tribick said: "He will be delighted. Anything that vindicates his position can only be a good thing."

Mr Stagg, of Roehampton, was the prime police suspect for the 1992 murder-of the 23-year-old model on Wimbledon Common. She was stabbed 49 times and sexually assaulted in front of her two-year-old son Alex. Mr Stagg was acquitted after a disastrous police investigation. A judge stopped the trial in 1994 and threw out the prosecution case ruling that key evidence, involving an undercover woman detective used in a "honeytrap" operation, was inadmissible.

The award is the first public acknowledgement of the failings of the initial inquiry. Mr Stagg always protested his innocence. Recently he said he was still widely suspected of Miss Nickell's killing.

Mr Stagg, a loner, was arrested and interviewed after he fitted the profile and e-fit of the killer.

He had been walking on the Common on the day of the murder and police found a knife and books on the occult when they searched his flat.

In an effort to get him to confess detectives set up an operation involving an undercover detective using the name Lizzie James, who wrote to him in an attempt to get him to make a confession.

The pair exchanged letters in which he fantasised about sex involving knives but never admitted murdering Miss Nickell.

Last year Scotland Yard revealed it was preparing to charge another man with the murder.

After a multimillion reinvestigation of the case, detectives have interviewed a 40-year-old Broadmoor patient who cannot be named for legal reasons. …

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