Man framed for murder of his friend in 1995 found dead in a Northampton flat

A Scotsman who spent 10 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted for murdering a friend has been found dead in a flat in Northampton.

Friday, 22nd September 2017, 2:59 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd September 2017, 1:12 pm
Steven Johnston was freed from prison in 2006 after he was framed for the murder of a friend.

Steven Johnston spent a decade behind bars after being convicted for the murder of Andrew Forsyth in 1995 at his home in Dunfermline Scotland.

But it later emerged that statements of witnesses who had seen Mr Forsyth alive on the day he was supposed to have been murdered were withheld by a Fife detective.

Mr Johnston was released in 2006 after his murder conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal.

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However, Northamptonshire Police has confirmed that the 57-year-old was found dead at his flat in Weston Favell on August 4, though a postmortem is yet to determine the cause.

A spokesman for the force, said: "We are treating this as an unexplained death at this point in time.

"We are awaiting a full report from Her Majesty's Coroner Service."

Mr Johnston had been a prominent member of The Miscarriage of Justice Organisation (MOJO), a charity which helps innocent people during and after their time in prison.

In recent years he spoke publicly about the lack of support given to wrongfully imprisoned people.

Paul McLaughlin of MOJO, knew Mr Johnston well and said the charity is "devastated" by the loss.

"Sadly, this is one of the outcomes for people who are wrongly imprisoned.

"I can name dozens of cases where the end result has been an early death.

"It is because there is no additional support service. There is no transitional support for these people coming out of prison."

Mr McLaughlin said family and friends of Mr Johnston, who was known to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, were anxious to know more about how he died.

A statement posted on MOJO's Facebook page this week read: "Everyone at MOJO is deeply saddened by Steve's passing. We extend our deepest condolences to Steve's daughter Stacey, and his other family for their loss.

"Steve fought long and hard for his freedom but lost his battle to free himself from the devastation and trauma he suffered as a result of his wrongful imprisonment.

"Steven died another victim of our society's indifference to the suffering of those who are innocent and wrongfully imprisoned. We hope he is the last to die an early death but we doubt it."