The inanity of this decision speaks for itself. An innocent man is required to pay for his room and board for the three years he spent in jail after the system couldn't protect him from a serial accuser.
Victim of false rape claim must pay £12,500 for bed and board in jail
By SAM GREENHILLLast updated at 00:00 01 January 2008
A man wrongly jailed when a woman cried rape has failed to prevent being charged £12,500 for his "board and lodging" while in prison.
Warren Blackwell, 38, spent three years in jail as a convicted sex attacker until his 'victim' was unmasked as a fantasist.
It was revealed he has been awarded £252,500 compensation for his lost years - but minus the estimated cost of his food and accommodation while behind bars.
Mr Blackwell said he had failed to stop the money being siphoned off after his lawyer told him there was little to be done about it.
The father-of-two, said: "It's the principle of the thing. They slam you in jail for three years and four months, brand you a sex attacker, leave your family to cope without you, then turn around and say sorry but demand £12,500 for living expenses incurred during your time inside.
"I tried to fight against it but my solicitor says the only hope of overturning the decision would be to go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights. I would probably use up all the compensation money on legal fees if I did that."
Warren Blackwell, with wife Tanya, is being charged £12,500 for his 'board and lodging' in prison despite being wrongly jailed.
Mr Blackwell was jailed on the word of a woman who claims he seized her at knifepoint outside a village club early on New Year's Day 1999, marched her down an alleyway and indecently assaulted her.
She picked him out of an identity parade and a jury found him guilty, even though there was no forensic evidence and he had no previous convictions.
His wife Tanya never doubted him and an investigation by the Criminal Cases Review Commission later discovered that his accuser had invented the story.
Not only did Mr Blackwell not commit the crime, but the crime had never taken place.
It also emerged she was a serial accuser, having fabricated at least seven other allegations of sexual and physical assault against blameless men.
She kept changing her name and moving around, so police forces never realised they were dealing with the same woman.
Mr Blackwell, of Woodford Halse, Northamptonshire, was dramatically cleared at the Appeal Court in 2005, and lodged a formal bid for compensation.
It was accepted by the Government, but left to an assessor to calculate the actual amount. The assessor has now estimated that the portion of Mr Blackwell's compensation for loss of earnings - put at just over £70,000 - should be cut by 20 per cent to cover his "living expenses."
But Mr Blackwell said: "If murderers and robbers don't get charged for their time in the clanger, how come an innocent man does? It doesn't make sense and it is plain discrimination."
His solicitor, Robert Berg, said: "The adjudicator made a fair award of compensation for the suffering caused in this miscarriage of justice, however it is very unfair to charge him board and lodging.
"It is illogical that someone should have to pay for a punishment - which prison is - that should never have been given in the first place.
"Even though he was in prison, it doesn't mean there were no living expenses at his home. His family was still there, having to feed themselves and manage the home.
"So they cooked one less pork chop because he wasn't there - it's hardly a great saving, is it?"
The practice of charging "bed and breakfast" was challenged in 2007 by the Bridgewater Three, the men wrongly convicted of murdering newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater in 1978, but the principle was upheld by the House of Lords.
The Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-505428/Victim-false-rape-claim-pay-12-500-bed-board-jail.html