Killer Alan Houchin given go-ahead to seek compensation

A convicted killer and rapist who was moved from an open prison to tougher jail conditions in Lincoln has been given permission to pursue a compensation claim.

Alan Houchin, 74, was jailed for life in 1965 for strangling a 16-year-old waitress in Margate, Kent.

He was released on licence 11 years later, but was jailed for nine years in 1979 for a rape in Folkestone.

A judge said he could appeal against a ruling to block his compensation claim.

Houchin's claim against the Lincolnshire Probation Trust for thousands of pounds was blocked by the High Court in April.

But he was told he could challenge the decision by Lord Justice Beatson, sitting at the Court of Appeal.

Houchin, one of the UK's longest-serving prisoners, was transferred to open conditions at HMP North Sea Camp in Lincolnshire in April 2006 after the risk he posed to the public was assessed as "medium".

But in 2008 he was transferred to closed conditions at Lincoln Prison.

He is now at Leyhill open prison in Gloucestershire.

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