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By Carl Jackson Friday 22 February 2013 Updated: 22/02 10:03
A MAN who spent 19 years in jail after wrongly being convicted of the murder of paperboy Carl Bridgewater, has been spared more time behind bars for drug offences.
Vincent Hickey, 58, pleaded guilty to possession of a class B amphetamine with intent to supply as well as admitting six other charges of possessing drugs including heroin.
He was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court last Friday (February 15) to a two year community order, two year drug rehabilitation programme and two-year supervision requirement.
Hickey, whose address cannot be revealed for legal reasons, spent £150,000 on his heroin addiction which had developed whilst in prison, the court heard.
The latest charges all related to 2011, after he was caught four times in possession of heroin and on two occasions a class C controlled drug as well.
Police raided his home finding £2,100 worth of amphetamine in the freezer.
Sam Blom-Cooper, defending, said Hickey only admitted to been a 'custodian for a short amount of time'.
He said despite receiving a 'substantial' compensation payout for his wrongful conviction, Mr Hickey was now a man of 'limited means' living in a council house and looking after his mother.
But Judge Richard Rundell dismissed Mr Blom-Cooper's recommendation of a one year order saying it was not long enough.
Sentencing Hickey he told him: "Yours is a unusual and unique case.
"You have a longstanding addiction to Heroine, we all know where you got that.
"You shouldn't have been there at the time. I am sorry it happened."
Hickey, who was not required to sit in dock, replied 'Thank you'.
Judge Rundell added the sentence was not a 'get out of jail free card' and warned him if he did not comply with the order he would return to court and likely go to prison.
"Nobody wants to see that." he said.
Hickey was also told he did not have to pay prosecution costs of £1,200.
Hickey was jailed for life in 1979 along with his cousin Michael Hickey and Jimmy Robinson after 13-year-old paperboy Carl Bridgewater was shot dead at a farm in Stourbridge.
Another man Patrick Malloy was convicted of manslaughter.
Hickey was released in 1997 after the convictions were overturned following a long campaign.
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