AN MP today slammed a southern police force for failing to reinvestigate a double murder -- six months after the East Lancashire man originally convicted of the crimes was cleared.

Hyndburn MP Greg Pope spoke out as a spokesman for Hampshire Police revealed to the Lancashire Evening Telegraph that no decision had been taken on whether they would actively investigate the murders of Ann Lee and Margaret Johnson in May 1982.

Their announcement comes six months after former Great Harwood man Peter Fell was cleared by three high court judges of the double murder.

A Court of Appeal hearing was told that. at the time of the crimes, Mr Fell was a pathological confessor and publicity around the murders prompted him to call the police.

The three judges took just moments to free Mr Fell and they gave their reasons a fortnight later, stating that they did not think he was responsible for the crimes. Since then, Hampshire Police have been reviewing the case and this week confirmed they still had not reached a decision.

A spokesman said: "The case is not yet being investigated again. No decision has been taken about it."

No details of whether an inquiry into how Mr Fell came to be wrongly convicted have been released, either.

Mr Fell first urged Hampshire Police to re-open the case in March, when he stood on the steps of the Court of Appeal minutes after his case ended.

He said today: "I would like the police to re-open the case and find who is actually responsible for these deaths.

"Their miscarriage of justice has cost me 18 years of my life. The real killer is still out there and until he is caught, there can be no justice."

Mr Pope, who has campaigned for Mr Fell ever since he took office in 1992, said: " I am shocked that no action has been taken by Hampshire Police. As Peter has pointed out himself, not only it is appalling that he was wrongly convicted but that the perpetrator of this vile crime is still at large and, for all we know, could have struck again.

"I sincerely hope Hampshire Police will re-open the inquiry quickly as well as starting a proper investigation into how Peter was wrongly convicted in the first place."