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Police to deliver Carl Bridgewater murder review findings next month

A review of evidence in the notorious unsolved murder of paper boy Carl Bridgewater will deliver its findings next month, police have said.

Staffordshire Police have been carrying out a "forensic review" in the aftermath of a documentary which raised fresh questions about who may have been responsible for the youngster's 1978 shooting.

The force said it now expected to issue its findings in March, although no exact date has yet been set.

Over the years the case has been periodically reviewed by police in a bid to piece together events surrounding the brutal killing at a farm near Stourbridge.

However a Channel 4 documentary, aired in June last year, which featured an interview with one of the original suspects, convicted killer Bert Spencer, raised questions about the "cast-iron" alibi he gave at the time.

He has always denied having anything to do with the boy's murder.

After the broadcast, Staffordshire Police later said it was "considering the content of the documentary to ascertain whether new information is available beyond what we already know".

Carl, aged 13, was shot in the head at point-blank range while delivering papers after apparently disturbing a burglary at Yew Tree Farm in Prestwood, Staffordshire.

Mr Spencer, an ambulance driver and former neighbour of the Bridgewater family - who later served time in prison for a murder in the same village - was a suspect questioned by police at the time, but has always denied the murder.

An ex-hospital secretary who had provided Mr Spencer with what he described as a "cast-iron" alibi for his whereabouts on the day of Carl's killing, told the documentary she could not prove where he was that day.

In the programme, Mr Spencer's ex-wife Janet spoke for the first time about how her then husband had disposed of a legally-owned shotgun.

She also recalled having come home to find him washing a green jumper which later disappeared.

Spencer denied her claims and said: "My ex-wife blamed me for everything, including breast cancer."

Police went on to charge the Bridgewater Four after they were arrested for an armed robbery in nearby Halesowen.

In one of the UK's most infamous miscarriages of justice, Patrick Molloy, James Robinson, and cousins Michael and Vincent Hickey had their convictions overturned after 18 years amid concerns about the police evidence.

Months after the jailing of the Bridgewater Four in 1979, Spencer used a shotgun to kill his friend Hubert Wilkes at a farmhouse.

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