An MP believes a Stevenage murder conviction from 1972 could be a "miscarriage of justice" and has called for the case to be re-examined.

Paul Cleeland denied murdering Terry Clarke after the gang boss returned home from a bar on November 5, 1972, but he served 26 years in jail.

Now, Damian Collins, Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe - where Cleeland lives - has called for the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to look into the conviction, and will raise the issue at a Westminster Hall debate this afternoon (March 12).

"A lot of the evidence that was used in court, presented in court, wouldn't be admissible today," said Mr Collins.

"There are a lot of grounds I think to challenge the conviction that he received. But the debate is really about his frustration and the difficulty he's had to persuade the Criminal Cases Review Commission to look into his case and refer it back to the Court of Appeal."

Mr Collins believes that Cleeland's case is similar to other wrongful convictions during the 1970s, such as the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four.

"My concern is that Paul's case may be an example of a miscarriage of justice from the 1970s of which we are familiar with others from that period."

The Comet: Damian Collins, Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe.Damian Collins, Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe. (Image: PA Images/PA Wire)

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Cleeland has protested his innocence in the past, but legal challenges have failed, while applications to the CCRC were refused along with a request for a judicial review.

In a statement to BBC News, a CCRC spokesperson said: "Mr Cleeland has made a number of applications to the CCRC, which have been subject to thorough reviews.

"One of those applications resulted in the CCRC referring Mr Cleeland’s conviction to the Court of Appeal, which upheld it.

"Other reviews concluded that there was no real possibility his conviction would be quashed if it were to be referred to the Court of Appeal.

"Mr Cleeland sought judicial review of the decisions not to refer and was unsuccessful."