WITHIN minutes of winning his appeal hearing, Peter Fell was sitting at the centre of a jubilant party in a swish London wine bar.

The champagne was flowing freely as his solicitor, barrister and supporters toasted a victory which has been their goal ever since Peter was jailed in 1984.

But, among the smiles and toasts Peter, now 39, sat with a cup of tea. Like so many things over the last two decades, alcohol was one of the things Peter had to go without.

Throughout the three-day hearing at the Court of Appeal on London's world-famous Strand, Peter looked somewhat out of place.

The gaunt face and shaven head he had on his release on bail last December has been replaced with a more chubby complexion, a pair of glasses and longer, tidier haircut.

But as he walked up Fleet Street to court every day, his head was constantly moving, quickly taking in every bit of activity on one of London's streets.

Seventeen years ago the world was a completely different place -- no fancy sandwich shops with names like Pret A Manger, few mobile phones, no internet cafes.

Even cash points, such a common feature in every day life, seem strange to Peter.

His daughter Sara -- his wife Ann was pregnant at the time of his arrest -- has grown up without a father.

He spoke exclusively to the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, after corresponding with this paper throughout his time inside.

At the wine bar just yards from the Court of Appeal, Peter said: "The world really is a different place now. So many things have changed and it has been very hard getting used to it again.

"What I have realised throughout the last few months is just how little support there is for people like me -- people who are released from jail pending an appeal get no support.

"It is only thanks to the support from friends down here that I have been able to get this far.

"I would like to see action taken to sort out this issue."

Despite knowing in his heart that the day would come when the world knew for certain that he was not guilty of killing Ann Lee and Margaret Johnson on Aldershot Common, Peter is uncertain what the future holds for him.

He devoted so much of his time inside -- in prisons such as Winchester, Garth near Leyland and The Verne in Dorset -- to working towards his release that unlike many prisoners, he has come out with no new skills.

He said: "I wasn't interested in that at all. My priority was to get my convictions overturned. I was inside for a crime I didn't commit.

"I worked as a hotel porter in Bournemouth and as a canvasser in Aldershot before I was arrested. Finding a job will be difficult. I have to decide where I am going to live first."

Peter refuses to be drawn on whether he will return to Great Harwood, the town where he grew up in a children's home before joining the army.

He was thrown out of the army after being dubbed a nuisance by disciplinary officers, to whom he had confessed to several incidents for which he was not guilty.

It was similar behaviour -- or foolishness, as Peter describes it, which resulted in the terrible chain of events leading to his conviction in 1984 for murder.

But while it would be easy for Peter to speak with only bitterness about his time behind bars, he chooses to try a find a silver lining in what must be the darkest cloud which can be cast across anybody's lives.

His solicitor points out that Peter has come out a stronger character, more equipped to deal with life's pitfalls. For three days, medical experts pulled Peter's personality at the time of his arrest to pieces.

The calls he made to the police confessing to the murders were done, not out of malice, but out of a desire to be someone.

Peter doesn't deny it has been a hard slog, but is determined to see the positives.

Dressed in a white shirt, blue tie, dark trousers and a fleece -- his court 'uniform' during the hearing, he said: "While I was in prison I discovered God. I became a Christian.

"It is thanks to Him that I was released and I believe it is thanks to my genuine belief in him that I have proved an innocent man now."

"I am eternally grateful to the papers and the media in Lancashire who have helped me and supported me.

"Today is the day I can finally start looking to the future. It was a day which was always going to come, I just didn't know when."