Stephen Hough
15-year-old Janet Commins was killed in 1976 North Wales Police

A man who was wrongly imprisoned for the death of a schoolgirl four decades ago will appeal against his manslaughter conviction.

Noel Jones served six years of a 12-year sentence after he had admitted killing 15-year-old Janet Commins in 1976 in Flintshire, Wales, before her actual killer was jailed for the crime following a three-week trial in July 2017 when new evidence came to light.

Jones said he was pressured into signing a false confession and that he was made a scapegoat for the crime because his background as a gypsy fitted the bill for the murder.

Stephen Hough, 58, from Flint, was sentenced in July after DNA evidence connected him to the crime and was convicted of rape, serious sexual assault, and manslaughter.

In a statement issued on Wednesday (16 August) Jones said: "I was originally charged with the murder of Miss Commins in 1976. The confession I gave during that investigation was false and only given under pressure.

"During the original trial for murder, when offered a chance to plead guilty to manslaughter I felt I had no option but to take that plea, due to the false confession I had made, even though I knew I was completely innocent – I was only 18 years old at the time.

"Now the trial is over I have instructed my solicitors, Humphrys Dawson, to pursue an appeal against my conviction. The initial steps relating to that procedure have already been taken," Wales Online reported.