CLEARED murder suspect Martin Haggan today spoke of his months of living hell locked up for a brutal killing he did not commit.

And the 23-year-old vowed he would sue police after spending more than a year in prison awaiting trial.

Yesterday a jury took just 45 minutes to decide he did not plunge a knife into the heart of Joey Dean.

Police are not expected to re-open the case and the Crown Prosecution Service said it was 'the end of the matter.'

Mr Haggan was the prime suspect in the frenzied stabbing on the Roman Road estate in Blackburn in February 1995.

He told the Telegraph today: "I've gone through hell over this. Nobody can imagine what it's like being locked up knowing you're innocent.

"I lost my girlfriend after six years together and my family has been ripped apart. Every day I spent inside I was terrified the jury would make the wrong decision. I had nightmares.

"I just want to blank everything about the incident out now and get on with sorting my life out.

"I'm going to be talking to my solicitor later and I'm determined to be compensated for my suffering. I was framed. The police just wanted to shut the case and I was an easy target." Mr Haggan said the first thing he did when he returned to Blackburn last night was hug his children, Carl, five, Nathan, two, and Macauley, one.

He added: "My whole family has been put through the worst ordeal. Without my mum Marie and my seven brothers and sisters I'd have lost my head. It's thanks to them and their faith in me that I survived all of this."

The trial, which started on Monday, heard that only two men could have killed Joey Dean, 31, of Fishmoor Road - Martin Haggan or the key prosecution witness Lee Maher.

In his summing up, the judge, Mr Justice Forbes, QC, said everyone agreed that if Mr Haggan had not done it, Mr Maher had.

Both had been arrested on suspicion of the murder but Mr Maher was released after telling police Mr Haggan, of Silloth Close, was the killer.

But the court was told police only sent Mr Haggan's clothes for forensic examination and not Mr Maher's.

The defence also asked why more than 100 items were taken from Mr Haggan's home but they did not bother to search Mr Maher's even though they had a warrant.

Defence counsel, Richard Henriques QC told Carlisle Crown Court: "It is sloppy, it is slapdash, it is unsatisfactory."

Mr Haggan was accused of stabbing Joey Dean for "grassing" on him over a burglary. Dean managed to walk to his home where he collapsed just after saying Martin Haggan had killed him, the court heard.

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