Stewart Dickson MLA said: “I think most people will have real sympathy for the experience of Colin Worton; it is deeply regrettable that he was ever placed in this difficult position. My sympathy also goes out to the family of Adrian Carroll.
“I have spoken to the Minister of Justice at length on this issue; his Department has looked at this case from a number of different angles, and indeed reviewed it following the evidence of the HET. However, unfortunately it is simply outside the Department of Justice’s abilities to provide compensation for Mr Worton, because he was never actually convicted of a crime.
“The Minister of Justice cannot provide compensation to Mr Worton, as no means to do this exists. The inability of the Minister to provide compensation in no way undermines Mr Worton’s innocence.
“While the Minister cannot provide compensation to Mr Worton, we can continue to acknowledge that Mr worton has not been convicted of any crime relating to the murder of Adrian Carroll.”