A FORMER soldier from Great Harwood, who was wrongly jailed for life for a double murder he did not commit, has been told police cannot afford to find the real killer.
Peter Fell, 43, said he was dumbfounded that Hampshire Police had ruled out re-opening the investigation into the brutal murders, for which he lost 18 years of his life, because they do not have the resources.
Mr Fell, who grew up in a Great Harwood children's home and attended Norden High School, Rishton, was cleared and released by the Court of Appeal in 2001 but was determined to get justice for the families of Ann Lee and Margaret Johnson who were murdered on Aldershot Common when he was on duty with the Army.
Blasting the decision of Hampshire Police, which last year controversially sent cards to repeat offenders wishing them a crime-free Christmas, he said: "I've not even had an apology though Hampshire Police did acknowledge the injustice. I think it is so wrong that they're saying there isn't the funding to re-open the investigation when there could be a double murderer out there.
"They're saying there's got to be new evidence but surely with advances in technology they could make new ground. I'm also still waiting for compensation after nearly five years. This is one final problem that is stopping me from getting on with my life."
Hyndburn MP Greg Pope campaigned for the release of Mr Fell, who now lives near London, and condemned the Hampshire force for ruling out a new investigation.
He said: "Hampshire Police have a record budget and number of officers so their explanation is extraordinary because this is murder we're talking about. I will write to Peter's new MP to ask him to lobby the police to re-open the case. I am appalled this saga continues."
This week Mr Pope tabled a Parliamentary question to find out whether Mr Fell and others wrongly imprisoned would lose money from their compensation for board and lodgings while in prison.
A spokesman for Hampshire Police said: "Resources are directed at more current cases. We never give up on murders in Hampshire but we need further evidence.
"If any is forthcoming we will take the appropriate action and keep the families of both victims informed of any developments."