Then there is the fact that the identity of the members of the ASU have been known since early 1975 when two safe houses belonging to the active service unit were discovered after the murder of PC Tibble because fingerprints belonging to 19 people known to be involved in terrorism were discovered in those houses. It went on to burn thousands of homes and kill 25 people. The latest issue (Why legal aid matters) includes Helena Kennedy QC and Martha Spurrier in conversation, David Conn on the legacy of Hillsborough - plus how to build your own law centre. In The Name Of The Father, the 1993 film made about this miscarriage of justice, with Daniel Day-Lewis as Gerry Conlon and John Lynch as Paul Hill, was nominated for seven Oscars. Seven of their relatives and friends, called the Maguire Seven, were sentenced to lesser terms on the basis of questionable forensic evidence. The justification offered at the time by the Director of Public Prosecutions was that those who had made confessions were already serving life sentences and it would be a waste of public money to seek to convict them of the Guildford and Woolwich offences at public cost when the sentences they would receive would be no longer than the ones they were currently serving. 1989, The Justice Gap is an online magazine about the law and justice run by journalists. Alastair Logan is a retired solicitor who represented the Guildford Four and Maguire Seven and the defendants in eight other terrorist trials between 1974 and 1985. “When I read the final script I felt as if I could hear Gerry’s voice again speaking to me. On October 5, 1974, an IRA bomb killed four people in a Guildford pub frequented by British military personnel, while another bomb in Woolwich killed three. In 1990, a … "We must all, I believe, feel anxiety, regret and deep concern at what has occurred," he said. The refusal further stated that the public interest requires that the police are able to carry out any further investigations in the most effective manner and that it would not be in the best interests to release information that could endanger the safety of any individual concerned. (Photo by Frank Barratt/Keystone/Getty Images), 9. They were told a lie when the Guildford Four were convicted. Through the ...read more, On October 19, 1914, near the Belgian city of Ypres, Allied and German forces begin the first of what would be three battles to control the city and its advantageous positions on the north coast of Belgium during the First World War. Under the recent Prevention of Terrorism Act, British investigators were allowed to hold and interrogate terrorist suspects for five days without any hard evidence. Guildford, During their prison stay, investigators fabricated against them an IRA conspiracy that implicated a number of their friends and family members. Sixty-five people were wounded. Phocion turned out to be former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. The police have been in possession of these confessions since early 1977 and have never sought to prosecute anyone. Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox. In fact, there was no evidence to link the Maguire Seven to the Guildford Four apart from a family connection. The Ministry of Justice has recently (2019) held a review of legal aid for inquests. It is based on the book of the same title by former IRA prisoner Richard O’Rawe and follows Conlon’s life after he walked out of London’s Old Bailey a free man in 1989 until he died of cancer in 2014 at 60. Freedom of Information Act applications were made to examine the files that were closed. Maggie was not pleased. The Inquest into the deaths was adjourned and forgotten about. None of those warrants was ever pursued. The essay typified the nasty, ...read more. From other local news sites. The bombs were placed in the pubs with timing devices to detonate when the bomb placers were clear of Guildford. Guildford Four's Gerry Conlon dies of cancer in Belfast, aged 60, Gerry Conlon: the man who served 15 years for a crime he did not commit, Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four dies aged 60, Legal aid cuts: 'a return to widespread miscarriages of justice', From the archive, 20 May 1993: Guildford Four case detectives cleared. Obviously, it is unlikely that anyone with a thorough understanding and knowledge of the case will be alive when those files are eventually opened, assuming that they ever are because the power lies to continue to keep them closed. Consequently, it can be confidently stated that the police have known the identity of anyone involved with the ASU, who was never arrested, for at least 45 years. This was a thrown device and matched other bombings using the same method of delivery and configuration. "It has thrown such doubt on the honesty and integrity of a number of Surrey police officers investigating this case... the Crown is now unable to say that the convictions of any of the four were safe or satisfactory," he added. The detention sheets produced at trial supported the perjured evidence of the officers and had been created by forgery involving no less than 32 officers. However apart from transcripts of the oral evidence of certain police officers to The May Inquiry and some miscellaneous files, any attempt to open the others was refused. At a time when most video stores were small-scale operations featuring a limited selection of titles, Blockbuster opened with some 8,000 tapes displayed on shelves around the store and a ...read more, On October 19, 1991, a fire begins in the hills of Oakland, California. The knock-on effect of the delay in trying the officers resulted in Sir John May deciding that he could not deal with his remit in relation to the case of the Guildford Four in public despite the fact that Parliament had set up a Public Inquiry. Published 26 October 2016. One of the Guildford Four was Paul Hill, whose 15 years in prison are documented in letters he wrote to his family and later donated to the Archive … At their trial, Paul Hill was given what was, at the time, the longest sentence ever handed down by an English court; life with no chance of parole until great age or infirmity. The Guildford Four were convicted solely on the basis of their (coerced and false) confessions there being no other evidence available on which to convict them. Paul Hill was ‘ghosted’ more than 50 times during his 15 years in prison. In fact, her family including a 13-year-old son and a visitor to her household were convicted of possessing nitroglycerin based on a flawed test carried out by MoD forensic scientists. "The Maguire seven are innocent. The Caterham Arms pub was bombed in August 1975 using the same modus operandi as was used at Guildford. Last modified on Thu 26 Mar 2020 12.26 GMT. Who will the Gerry Conlons of the future count on? 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Counsel for the Surrey Police told Mr Richard Travers, the Surrey Coroner, in February 2020 that no documents would be destroyed or withheld. The pubs were targeted because they were popular with British Army personnel stationed at Pirbright barracks. In The Name of The Father, a film based on the story of the Guildford Four, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Conlon, was up for a string of nominations. Three of the police officers who conducted the original interviews have now been suspended by Surrey police. Another concern is that there is no independent index of the contents of those files as the only reference to content on the TNA website was in very general terms as to category and none for content. Firstly, the request related to a police report. The Surrey Police had charged Anne Maguire with murder claiming that she was present at Guildford at the time that the bombs were planted as well as being one of the manufacturers of the bombs. We ask former defendants, their families, lawyers and experts, Originally published in the Guardian on 20 May 1993: An Old Bailey jury clears three retired Surrey detectives of fabricating evidence in the case, Available for everyone, funded by readers, A powerful one-man play tells the story of Gerry Conlon after his release from wrongful conviction, Throughout his life, the Labour leader has striven to create a better society for everyone in Britain, Documentary maker and television executive who led the media campaign to free the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven, Journalist who campaigned on behalf of those he believed were victims of miscarriage of justice, Commissioner of the Metropolitan police whose Plus programme aimed to increase public confidence in the service, Lawyers acting for sister of Gerry Conlon, who was wrongfully jailed for 15 years, call for completion of process for five who died, Paddy Armstrong’s account of his wrongful conviction and imprisonment is as gripping as a work of fiction, Pete Doherty pays tribute to QPR, Johnny Marr and Gerry Conlon as band play first gig in London in more than four years, Solicitor's eulogy reveals how dying Guildford Four member implored others to continue to fight for those wrongly imprisoned, As a member of the Guildford Four, a victim of one of Britain's worst miscarriages of justice.
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