Innocent dad demands £1m compo after spending 17 YEARS in prison for robbery carried out by lookalike with same name

Richard Jones, of Kansas City, was sensationally released last year after a judge declared his original conviction was unsound.

Now he has filed a petition seeking nearly £1m in compensation from the state of Kansas – around £50,000 for each year he spent in prison.

The father-of-two is also seeking future financial assistance for tuition, housing and counselling.

“It took a big chunk of my life that I can never get back,” Mr Jones said. “I am just trying to get stable in my everyday life. I am still transitioning.”

The 42-year-old's daughters – who he missed growing up – are now 24 and 19 and he is also a grandfather.

“At that time, I was pretty much trying to be responsible as a father,” he said. “I was not perfect, but I was a big part of their lives, and when I got incarcerated, it was hard for me because I was used to being around for my kids.”

“It was a hard pill to swallow,” Mr Jones said.

Richard Ainsworth, Mr Jones’ lawyer, said that they were hoping for a certificate of innocence and for compensation so he could “finally move forward with his life."

The petition reads: “This compensation is relatively small given the unfathomable hardship of 17 years of wrongful imprisonment."

Jones had been jailed for armed robbery in 1999 after an eyewitness said he was the robber.

However, while inside prison the other inmates constantly remarked on his incredible likeness to a crook named Ricky Amos.

Jones also lived on the other side of Kansas while his lookalike Amos lived near where the robbery took place.

It later turned out that there was no physical, DNA or fingerprint evidence linking Jones to the crime..

After being released, Jones told the Kansas City Star.: "I don't believe in luck, I believe I was blessed.”

Jones had unsuccessfully appealed his case several times.

But two years ago he heard about a man in jail who looked just like him and even shared his first name.

After realising this could be the man who committed the crime, Jones contacted the Midwest Innocent Project, a non-profit organisation that provides legal services to the wrongly-convicted.

An attorney working on Jones' case said: “We were floored by how much they looked alike. Everybody has a doppelgänger, luckily we found his.”

Jones is now getting used to life on the outside and says he is happy to be back with his family.

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