HIS life stands as a symbol of the worst example of a miscarriage of justice in British criminal history.

Now Paddy Hill - the most prominent member of the Birmingham Six, who now lives in Ayrshire - is to see his dramatic life turned into a play for the Scottish stage.

Although his life-story is full of horror - Hill was brutally beaten by police and locked up for 16 years for a crime he didn't commit - the plan is to make the play the darkest of black comedies.

He lost his freedom, his family - his life - after being jailed for the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings, only to be cleared on appeal years later.

The play - which tells the story of the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings by the IRA which killed 21 people and left 182 injured and the quashing of Hill's conviction - will get its first public airing next month when it is workshopped at the Citizen's Theatre in Glasgow.

The production - Paddy Hill, I Confess - is being created by the Miscarriage of Justice Organisation (MoJo), which campaigns to help people wrongly accused of crimes, and written by Martin Chomsky, who previously adapted the socialist classic The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist.

Paul McLaughlin, co-project manager for MoJo, said he hoped the production - still in its early stages - will help raise much-needed funding. The story is framed with the character of Hill speaking on an American talk-show - based in Birmingham Alabama - about his life.

The idea for the play was sparked by the approaching 40th anniversary of the IRA bombings at the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs on November 21, 1974. They were the worst terrorist atrocities on the British mainland until the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

Hill was detained by police soon after the attacks and subjected to physical and mental abuse in a bid to secure a confession.

He claims officers "jammed a pistol in my mouth and smashed it around, breaking my teeth" and also threatened to shoot him several times, counting to three before blank-firing.

He was also beaten and burned with cigarettes as police from the serious crime squad told him they knew he was innocent but didn't care.

Hill, along with Hugh Callaghan, Gerry Hunter, Richard McIlkenny, Billy Power, and Johnny Walker, were eventually found guilty of the bombings in 1975.

They spent 16 years in prison before being released when their convictions were finally overturned by the Court of Appeal in May 1991.

The men were freed on the basis of police fabrication of evidence, unreliability of scientific evidence and the suppression of evidence. They collectively received millions of pounds in compensation. No police were ever charged.

No one else has ever been convicted of the bombings and, since his release, Hill has fought for answers alongside the families of those killed in the Justice4the21 campaign.

An inquest into the killings was granted earlier this year after "significant" new information emerged, with the hearing due to start this week.

McLaughlin said the play is about "continuing that fight for justice".

He said: "The story of what actually went on in the 70s has never been told and that fight's still ongoing. The families have never been told the truth. Even after the men were acquitted, the families were told that they were the ones who did it and they've simply got away with it.

"They believed that up until they met Paddy and he opened up his case to them and showed them the timeline of what actually happened."

Hill admits he has not yet read the play, but hopes it will help to put the case back in the public eye and highlight the issues faced by those who have been wrongly convicted.

Following his release, he received no help from the state, no counselling, no guidance on how to get his life back.

He suffers from severe post traumatic stress disorder and has seen several psychologists, but all have admitted that they are not equipped to deal with a case as bad as his.

Hill, who has made a life in Scotland with his wife Tara, claims the irony is that if he was guilty of the crime, support would have been put in place before and after his release.

"There's no help, no support, when you come out of prison if you're innocent," he said. "One minute you're in jail, then you're in court, then you're on the steps of the court celebrating your freedom.

"If you had told me as I stood on those steps that day just how much I would struggle with the outside world, I would never have believed you.

"It's only when the euphoria of winning the appeal dies down that the problems begin, and then there's nowhere to turn."

This is what led Hill to set up MoJo in a bid to try to get better legal and psychiatric resources put in place to help people who have been wrongly convicted.

The group receives some government funding, but Hill's ultimate goal is to set up a specialist centre offering support.

McLaughlin added: "People don't think about wrongful convictions until it happens to them or someone they know. We hope this play will make more people aware of the issue and our organisation."