'My conviction was a travesty of justice'

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THE brutal murder of law student Janet Murgatroyd on the banks of the River Ribble is one of Lancashire's most notorious crimes.

Speaking outside his home in Heapey, the man once convicted of the attack, Andrew Greenwood, says he was the victim of a 'travesty of justice' and that it is now time to move on.

Bubbly part-time police clerk Janet Murgatroyd, from Broad Oak Green, Penwortham, drowned after being savagely beaten on the banks of the river following a night out with friends.

She died on June 16, 1996 and Mr Greenwood, now aged 32, found himself at the centre of the investigation after he admitted killing the popular 20-year-old.

He later retracted the confession, claiming his mental health problems at the time led him to become convinced he carried out the murder.

Mr Greenwood was convicted of murder – but this conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Despite this, police are not seeking anyone else in connection with Janet's killing.

Speaking on the 10th anniversary of Janet's death, he said he was innocent and described what happened to him as a 'travesty of justice'.

He said: "I just want to get on with my life. I have spent a long time in custody for something I didn't do.

"It was a travesty of justice and evidence was withheld in the second trial when I was convicted.

"I'm just relieved the Appeal Court judge saw this. It's been a difficult time for me and my family and I want to move on."

Mr Greenwood, who used to live at The Maltings in Penwortham, is a former pupil at Brownedge St Mary's High School in Bamber Bridge.

A massive police investigation was launched at the time of Janet's death but no significant leads arose until Mr Greenwood had a breakdown in a taxi three years later.

A passing police car was flagged down and Mr Greenwood, unemployed at the time, told officers he had killed the University of Central Lancashire student.

Police finally thought the murder that had shocked and sickened the community was solved.

After years of legal argument, Mr Greenwood was found guilty of manslaughter at Liverpool Crown Court in June, 2003.

He was jailed for eight years but 11 months into that sentence the Court of Appeal overturned the conviction, ruling key evidence about another suspect was withheld in the trial.

Mr Greenwood, who has lived most of his life in Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge, told the jury he suffered alcohol related amnesia on the night of the murder but woke up the next day in bed with the same clothes on and that they were clean.