IF a measure can be put on any miscarriage of justice, then the enormity of that suffered by Peter Fell is surely shown by it taking three Appeal Court judges just 10 minutes to quash his conviction for the double murder for which he had wrongly spent 17 years in jail.

But if that nightmare is now at last ended for the 39-year-old, the case is far from an acceptable conclusion.

Not only does the dreadfully delayed confirmation of Peter Fell's innocence declare that whoever killed Ann Lee and Margaret Johnson is still free. But there also remains no blame over why the former Great Harwood man was put in the dock to begin with.

It may be that, in hindsight, the evidence shrieks his innocence out loud. Yet ought there not to have been manifest doubts also at the outset -- when, at the time, police were happy to rule him out of their investigations and when he had an alibi, corroborated by colleagues at work, that made it impossible for him to have been at the murder scene?

Yet, almost a whole year later, police made Peter Fell their suspect once more and extracted a confession from him after 50 hours of questioning, during which he had not eaten, slept or had access to a solicitor. At the time, as the appeal judges heard, he was very compliant, prone to giving in to heavy pressure. And since, it has been revealed that he was a vulnerable person who, throughout his life, confessed to things he had not done.

But if his personality played a part in his downfall, did not the police play a greater one -- making him the victim of a ridiculous pursuit by them that led to such a monstrous miscarriage of justice? Certainly, there are serious questions that need to be answered by Hampshire Police and by the others involved in his prosecution.

Hyndburn MP Greg Pope is quite right to demand a high-powered, independent investigation into the whole case. And Peter Fell will not have had justice until those answers are delivered.