THE man freed yesterday after serving six years for the M50 murder is

likely to sue the police for compensation.

He had been sentenced with a recommendation that he serve 25 years for

the 1988 killing of Marie Wilks, who was 22 and seven months' pregnant

at the time.

Mr Eddie Browning, a 41-year-old former Welsh Guardsman and nightclub

doorman, spoke of West Mercia Police as a ''bunch of bastards'' outside

the Law Courts in London. They had known four days before his arrest he

was not the killer, he claimed.

''It is finished with. I can put it to rest. The past six years have

been a living nightmare, a total hell for myself and my family and

everyone who has stuck by me.''

His wife, Julie, was by his side as he spoke.

''I never, ever doubted I would be cleared. I was never, ever going to

serve a prison sentence for someone else who is running loose and

running free -- never, ever.''

He said he was ready to meet the family of Mrs Wilks ''any place, any

time'' as he could prove his innocence 100%.

He advised them: ''They must go back to the West Mercia Police, who

have lied to them. They must get the truth from them.''

However, West Mercia's deputy chief constable, Mr David Thursfield,

said that no new lines of inquiry were readily apparent.

''We have done everything we feel we possibly can do in relation to

this case and, although accepting the decision of this court without

question, we are, as you would expect, both surprised and disappointed

by today's result.''

He said it was reassuring that the appeal court Judges did not find

any bad faith in relation to any officer of West Mercia Police.

Mr Browning had always protested he was not the man who killed Mrs

Wilks after her car broke down on the M50 on June 18, 1988, near the

village of Bushley, Hereford and Worcester.

Mrs Wilks had walked to an emergency phone box, leaving her overheated

Marina car containing her 13-month-old son Mark and her sister Georgina,

11. They never saw her again.

A distraught Georgina, clutching the baby, wandered along the roadside

in an attempt to find her older sister.

Mrs Wilks' body was found three days later at the bottom of an

embankment a few miles away. She had been stabbed in the neck and bled

to death.

At Shrewsbury Crown Court, a jury rejected Mr Browning's defence that

he drove to Scotland that evening from his home in Cwmparc, Rhondda, via

the M4-Severn Bridge-M5 route -- not the M50.

Mr Justice Turner ordered him to serve at least 25 years of a life


Yesterday, Lord Chief Justice Lord Taylor, sitting with Mr Justice

Garland and Mr Justice Curtis, said they could not be sure the jury

would inevitably have reached the same decision had material

irregularities, involving non-disclosure, not occurred.

The identity of the car seen on the M50 that day was at the heart of

the case, he said.

There should have been disclosure of material bearing upon the

reliability of the only two witnesses purporting to quote from its

registration plate.

Non-disclosure of a video of hypnosis sessions undergone by a key

witness, off-duty West Mercia Police Inspector Peter Clarke, prevented

the defence from challenging his recollections.

It was the discovery in January 1992 that West Mercia Police had

failed to disclose the video which led the then Home Secretary, Mr

Kenneth Clarke, to refer Mr Browning's case back to the Court of Appeal

after his first appeal was rejected in May 1991.

The Police Complaints Authority supervised the Greater Manchester

Police inquiry into the investigation of Mrs Wilks's murder by the West

Mercia force.

The authority looked at the non-disclosure of the video and the

force's failure to act on nearly 3000 messages received by the original

murder inquiry team.

As a result, it recommended that charges of neglect of duty over the

video tape should be brought against two West Mercia superintendents.

One of the two retired before disciplinary proceedings could be


The second -- Superintendent Anthony Stanley -- appeared before a

disciplinary tribunal chaired by Leicestershire Chief Constable Keith

Povey and two PCA members on May 3 at West Mercia Police's Worcester


After submissions, the hearing was suspended to a date still to be


Mr Browning's claim that police knew he was not the killer four days

before his arrest referred to when the hypnosis sessions with Inspector

Clarke took place.