A man who was wrongly jailed for murdering a young mum has revealed that he is now living in a homeless shelter after he spent his £706,000 compensation.
Colin Stagg was falsely accused for the murder of Rachel Nickell. The former model was stabbed to death in front of her two-year old son as she walked her dog on Wimbledon Common in July 1992.
An innocent Colin, who was 29 years old at the time, spent 13 months in custody waiting for a trial after a female police officer got him to “confess.” In 2008 Colin received compensation after serial killer Robert Napper admitted to killing Rachel.
The Home Office handed a payout to him in order to help “rebuild his life” since he was the victim of a Met Police honey-trap operation. However, since then Colin has now blown all of the money.
He admitted it was ‘like winning the lottery’ and splashed out on gifts, cars and holidays because he wanted to ‘live for the moment.’ Colin has now burned through the payout and is living in a homeless shelter after his girlfriend kicked him out in April.
Speaking to The Mirror, he said: “It’s a terrible shock being homeless at my age. All I’ve ever wanted is a quiet life. I never had big ambitions but I certainly didn’t see myself spending my 60th birthday in a homeless hostel.”
He added: “After everything I’d been through, I just wanted to live for the moment. I guess it did feel a bit like winning the lottery. I thought it might last me 10 years, possibly 20. I wasn’t really thinking about the future.
“I didn’t care how much anything cost. Anything I wanted, I bought. Terri never asked for anything. But I loved her and wanted to spoil her.”
Colin’s former partner Terri Marchant had been with him for 17 years before she dumped him in April. For the last year, he had been her full-time carer at her house in Farnborough.
He continued: “It came as a big shock. As far as I was concerned, we were OK. She said to me, ‘I’m sick of the sight of you’. So I turned around and said, ‘Well I’m sick of the sight of you too!’ I went for a walk to clear my head. It hit me that I had nowhere to go and I was going to be homeless.”
For the last seven weeks he has been staying in a homeless shelter in Aldershot. He said: “The room isn’t big but it’s clean and safe. If I can survive a year in prison for a crime I didn’t commit, I can survive this. It’s not going to break me.”
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