A CLYDEBANK man who spent a quarter century in jail for a murder he didn’t commit said he would rather be declared innocent than get compensation.

Robert Brown said he would continue to fight for an overhaul of the justice system despite another setback from the courts.

The 61-year-old spoke out after the UK Supreme Court last week upheld UK Government legislation limiting compensation to the wrongfully accused.

By a vote of five to two, the court ruled it was not against the human rights of two men that they would have to prove their innocence, even though evidence cleared them.

Robert was given compensation after he was released in 2002, but the rules were later changed in 2014 to make it harder for victims of the system.

He told the Post: “This is just another nail in the coffin for innocent people. It makes a mockery of fair play and justice.

“I would rather have not taken the money – I would have rather been given some recognition of my factual innocence from the criminal justice system, from the court or the British government.

“I’d rather be put on trial again and be declared factually innocent.”

Robert, who grew up in a tenement in Kilbowie opposite Singer’s until the age of nine, was convicted of the murder of Annie Walsh, 51, in Manchester in 1977.

He had been picked up and beaten for two days until he confessed and it took 25 years to get the Court of Appeal to undo that. They quashed his conviction in less than an hour.

The system went against him while in jail because he continued to argue he was innocent. Last week’s Supreme Court ruling upholds the idea of guilty until proven innocent.

READ MORE: Robert Brown fights for justice after 25 years in jail for murder he didn't commit

Paul McLaughlin, co-project manager of the Miscarriage of Justice Organisation (Mojo) in Glasgow, told the Post: “We were extremely disappointed in the decision. It doesn’t reflect any attempt to provide justice to the wrongfully convicted."

He said the onus should never be for an accused person to prove their own innocence in a criminal court. Mojo are seeking a declaration of innocence for anyone not found guilty - that the presumption of innocence is maintained and upheld.

Mr McLaughlin said: "We see it as just a money-saving exercise. The British government and judiciary are washing their hands.

“Robert was compensated but the likelihood is he would not have been under the new ruling.”

He said that while the criteria for compensation is different in Scotland to England and Wales, the Supreme Court ruling will affect both.

Sam Hallam, who was convicted of murder, and Victor Nealon, who was found guilty of attempted rape, took their legal battle to the Supreme Court following defeats at the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

At a hearing in May last year, their legal teams said the UK was free to make its own decisions – as long as they did not interfere with the “presumption of innocence”.

The court declined to make a declaration that the refusal to award them compensation was incompatible with their human rights.

Their compensation claims under the 1988 Act were rejected on the basis that it was not the case, as required by the Act, that a “new or newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that there has been a miscarriage of justice”.

READ MORE: Miscarriage of justice victim calls for change in law after losing court battle

Lord Justice Burnett, who later became the Lord Chief Justice, ruled when announcing the High Court’s decision that the law “does not require the applicant for compensation to prove his innocence”.

In one of the dissenting rulings, which would have allowed the appeals by the two men, Lord Kerr said there would be many people charged with criminal offences who are “truly innocent” but “unable to establish their innocence as a positive fact”.

Clydebank Post: Sam Hallam outside the UK Supreme Court before he and Victor Nealon fought for miscarriage of justice. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA WireSam Hallam outside the UK Supreme Court before he and Victor Nealon fought for miscarriage of justice. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Mr McLaughlin said of the Supreme Court’s ruling: “They’re playing semantics.”

Robert linked the court’s decision to that last year excluding the names of suspects behind the Birmingham Bombing, despite the wrongful conviction and jailing of the Birmingham Six for the crime. He called it “abhorrent and disgusting” and blamed the Tories for the both.

He said: “The criminal justice system is broken and needs fundamental change. We need a recognition of innocence from courts.

“I’m very, very angry at the Supreme Court ruling that was made. I will continue to campaign for changes in the criminal justice system, like criminal innocence. That’s far more important than money.

“I don’t believe the public know half of what’s going on in the criminal justice system. Something has to change and I will continue to campaign and fight.”