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Burglar wins jail term legal row

A serial burglar has won a High Court challenge over the calculation of his earliest release date.

Judges quashed a Northern Ireland Prison Service decision that Michael Murphy was not due to be freed before November 23. He was also advised to pursue any claim for damages for false imprisonment.

Murphy had been released on licence in February 2009 after serving a sentence for aggravated burglary and vehicle taking. Two months later he was arrested and held in police custody on suspicion of another break-in at a location in Belfast.

As a result, the Justice Secretary revoked his licence, meaning Murphy was liable to be detained and to be treated as being unlawfully at large.

In December 2009 he was sentenced to two years in jail and three on licence for the aggravated burglary in Belfast.

Murphy launched judicial review proceedings claiming he was entitled to have the eight months when he was on remand taken into account and should have been released on April 8.

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