Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Thursday, July 30, 1998 Published at 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK

World: Europe

Derek Bentley conviction quashed after 45 years

A British court has overturned the conviction of a teenager who was hanged in 1953 for murdering a policeman -- ending a forty-five year campaign by his family to clear his name, during which the case has persisently evoked public concern.

The Court of Appeal in London said the conviction of the teenager, Derek Bentley, was unsafe.

The policeman was shot while Mr Bentley -- nineteen when he was hanged -- was breaking into a warehouse with an accomplice, Christopher Craig.

It was Mr Craig who fired the shot, but he was too young to be hanged.

Mr Bentley, who was said to have a mental age of just eleven, was then convicted mainly because he allegedly urged his accomplice to shoot.

As a result of the campaign by Mr Bentley's sister, Iris, the Home Office granted him a limited posthumous pardon in 1993.

After Iris Bentley died, her daughter Maria continued the campaign.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift