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Thursday, July 30, 1998 Published at 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK


Craig's relief at Bentley pardon

Christopher Craig after the murder: I am truly sorry

Christopher Craig has spoken of his relief after the Court of Appeal decision to quash Derek Bentley's conviction for murder.

Craig and Derek Bentley were convicted of the murder of a policeman in a burglary on a south London warehouse in 1952.

The Court of Appeal on Thursday quashed the conviction of 19-year-old Derek Bentley who was hanged in 1953 and pardoned him. Craig at the age of 16, was too young to hang.

This is his full statement:

"Today, after 46 years, the conviction of Derek Bentley has been quashed and his name cleared. While I am grateful and relieved about this, I am saddened that it has taken those 46 years for the authorities in this country to admit the truth.

"I am truly sorry that my actions on 2 November 1952 caused so much pain and misery for the family of Pc Miles, who died that night doing his duty.

Also, for the Bentley family, I regret that Iris, Derek's sister, who fought all those years for Derek's pardon, died recently before this appeal was concluded.

Finally, I apologise to my family, who have had to endure Press attention over the years.

Innocence proved

"At the end of the day, the lawyers decided it was not necessary for me to give evidence at the appeal hearing but I was ready and willing to do so in the interests of justice.

"A day does not go by when I don't think about Derek and now his innocence has been proved with this judgment.

"Now at last this case is over. My gratitude goes to those who have fought so tirelessly for justice."

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