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I'll fight on to fulfil my Tony's dying wish; Battle for fortune.

Byline: DAN WARBURTON

THE DEVOTED fiancee of a man wrongly convicted of murder today vowed to continue her fight to claim his pounds 2.1m estate.

Anthony Steel was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court in December 1979 of killing Carol Wilkinson in Bradford in 1977.

His conviction was finally quashed seven years ago, marking the end of a 24-year fight to clear his name.

Yet Anthony, who was released on licence in 1998, died in 2007.

Following his wrongful incarceration, he was entitled to a massive compensation payout from the Ministry of Justice, believed to total between pounds 500,000 and pounds 2,153,206.

Only a fraction of the money was paid to Mr Steel during his lifetime and any cash now handed over will go to his estate.

Now, his fiancee, Margaret Angus, 49, of Blackhill Crescent, Gateshead, is at the centre of a legal dispute over who will claim the payout.

Today she spoke for the first time about her heartbreaking loss and said she would not give up her fight to carry out his dying wishes.

Mum-of-one Margaret said: "Tony was an honest man and he told me what he wanted to happen after his death.

"He made his wishes quite clear at the time - he made his life in Gateshead and he was living here. We were part of his family." Ms Angus, who at the time lived near Durham's Frankland Prison, wrote to Mr Steel after seeing him on a BBC documentary.

When she began visiting him inside the high-security prison, their relationship flourished and they had intended to spend their lives together when he was eventually released from prison.

Under Mr Steel's final will, made in April 2005, Ms Angus stands to inherit the bulk of his estate, while around pounds 120,000 will go to his family.

But the full claim could not be submitted for assessment without the approval of the executors of his will, his sister Angela Emmott and her husband Donald.

The couple, from Halifax, refused to give the green light for the claim to be lodged with the Ministry because they claim Ms Angus falsified documents.

At a High Court hearing in London, Judge Richard Snowden ruled the statement could not be submitted to the Ministry of Justice and blocked the compensation claim.

Today Margaret, who has a daughter from a previous relationship, said: "I've been wondering how I ever started visiting Tony in prison in the first place. I just saw the documentary and this particular one just really struck a chord."

CAPTION(S):

PRISON ROMANCE: Above, Margaret Angus, of Gateshead, who started visiting Anthony Steel in jail and, below, the pair of them together
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 10, 2010
Words:449
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