A mother whose nine-year-old son was run down and killed by speeding joyriders has been told she will not receive a penny in compensation.

Ross Doyle was killed as he walked back from football training on Pegasus Road in Blackbird Leys more than six years ago.

His family from Redwood Close, in Greater Leys, Oxford, were eligible to claim £7,500 compensation from the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) - which protects victims of uninsured, untraced or negligent drivers.

But because an extensive police investigation ran over a three-year deadline the pay-out has been rejected.

Ross' killer has still not been captured and a reward remains for information that leads to a prosecution.

His mother Cheryl Doyle said: "It is not about the money but it is about the principle.

"You could offer us all the money in the world on one hand and Ross on the other and we would take the hand with Ross on every time.

"No offer is ever an amount of money that could make up for losing Ross. Nothing is going to make us feel better or happier but a substantial amount would have at least been something."

The compensation claim to the MIB had to be made within three years of Ross' death on December 13, 2000, and once an inquest had been held. But an extensive police investigation meant the inquest could not be held until 2004.

Once a coroner delivered a verdict of unlawful killing, the family submitted a claim but it has now been rejected because it passed the deadline. A spokesman for the MIB said: "We are sorry to hear about the Doyle family's situation.

"However, the terms of the Untraced Drivers Agreement are very clear that prospective claimants have three years to make a claim.

"The ongoing police enquiries would not have prevented the family from making a claim at any time during the three year period, either by themselves or via their legal representatives."

Solicitors acting for the family are appealing against the decision because the inquest had been delayed.

Family solicitor Jeremy Irwin Singer, of Blake Lapthorn Linnell in Oxford, said: "Mrs Doyle has made an application. The Motor Insurers' Bureau are still waiting to make a decision and I am chasing them periodically."

East Oxford MP Andrew Smith said: "I'm appalled. It's disgraceful especially after all the agonising heartbreak the family have been through."

Supt Jim Trotman, commander for Oxford Police, said: "I would hope the MIB would hear her claim sympathetically even after this time."