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Wrongly convicted man refused bail

A man who wrongly spent 27 years in jail after a miscarriage of justice will face another Christmas behind bars after he was refused bail on rape and sexual assault charges.

Sean Hodgson, 59, was convicted in 1982 of the rape and murder of a barmaid and was released last year by the Court of Appeal.

Police then named Teresa De Simone's real killer as David Lace, who committed suicide in 1988 aged 26.

Hodgson, from Tow Law, County Durham, faces fresh charges of rape and sexual assault, allegedly relating to an incident in the North East in August.

A bail application was made at Durham Crown Court on Thursday but it was turned down by Judge Christopher Prince.

A plea and direction hearing will be held in February, with a five-day trial pencilled in for May.

In making the bail application, Hodgson's barrister Julian Young told the judge: "This is a man who has already suffered one terrible miscarriage of justice and he could now suffer another. I would hate to see that happen to Sean Hodgson again."

Hodgson has received £250,000 of a £1 million settlement for wrongful imprisonment.

Miss De Simone's body was found in her car at the rear of the Tom Tackle pub in Commercial Road, Southampton, in 1979.

Hampshire Police said last year that Lace's body had been exhumed from a Portsmouth cemetery to retrieve DNA which confirmed he was the killer. He confessed in 1983 to carrying out the horrific crime but police did not believe him, as Hodgson had already been convicted.

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