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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
Teenage IRA conviction overturned
Court
A teenager jailed nearly 30 years ago for membership of the junior IRA has had his conviction overturned.

Paschal John Mulholland, 46, from Woodside Hill, Portadown, served a year in borstal after he was convicted.

He was 16 when arrested on suspicion of involvement in a gun and petrol bomb attack on an RUC patrol in 1976.

Mr Mulholland said he had been mistreated in police custody and only admitted to the charge because he was frightened.

ln 2000 his case was taken up by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the independent body set up to review suspected miscarriages of justice.

The CCRC referred the case to the Court of Appeal after it had carried out a detailed investigation.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr, who heard the appeal with lord justices Nicholson and Campbell, said the mistreatment evidence raised a considerable doubt in their minds as to the safety of the conviction.

He said that had the trial judge, the late Lord Lowry, been aware of the allegations against two detectives he would have been slow to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Mulholland's allegations about mistreatment were untrue.

Sir Brian said the evidence of the medical officers who examined Mr Mulholland was "compelling and damning."

Mr Mulholland, in a statement released through his solicitors Harte Coyle Collins, said: "I am delighted with this result. It's just a pity I had to serve a year in custody."

His solicitor said her client would now be pursuing a claim for compensation.




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