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



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Thursday, December 17, 1998 Published at 11:53 GMT


UK

Man wins IRA bomb appeal

Danny McNamee: Freed under Good Friday Agreement

Danny McNamee, who was found guilty of the IRA's 1982 Hyde Park bombing which killed four members of the Household Cavalry and seven horses, has won his appeal against his conviction.


BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Graeme Mclagan: Appeal Court judges did not exonerate McNamee
Prosecutors relied heavily on traces of Mr McNamee's fingerprints found on remnants of the bomb and two other arms caches to convict him in 1987.

But three Court of Appeal judges accepted that it might have made a difference had jurors known that many more prints from a known IRA bomb-maker were also on the bomb remains.

The Appeal Court judges said their decision that the conviction was unsafe did not mean that he was innocent of the charge.

Lord Justice Swinton Thomas said a "strong case" had been made at his 1987 trial that Mr McNamee was guilty of conspiracy to cause explosions.

However, he said the Court of Appeal could not say the jury at that trial would have reached the conclusion they did on Mr McNamee's guilt if the fresh evidence heard at the appeal hearing had been available to it.


[ image: Carnage of the Hyde Park bomb]
Carnage of the Hyde Park bomb
Afterwards, Mr McNamee, who has consistently protested his innocence, hugged and kissed jubilant wellwishers.

He said: "Of course I'm vindicated. It's proved I was not guilty, even in a really grudging way."

Mr McNamee, 38, from Crossmaglen, South Armagh, was sentenced to 25 years in jail for his alleged part in the bombing.

Fingerprint evidence

He was released earlier this year from the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland after serving 12 years under the Good Friday Agreement on the political future of Northern Ireland.


The BBC's Gary Duffy: Mr McNamee has always protested his innocence
Mr McNamee was linked to the bombing conspiracy through fingerprint evidence.

But he claimed that one of the three prints claimed to be his on tape connected with the bomb-making equipment was not his.

At his trial he said his prints had got onto the equipment innocently because had had used the tape working at an electrical repair shop.

Mr McNamee's case was referred back to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission after inquiries into a number of issues, including disclosure of more fingerprint evidence at the time of his trial.


[ image: Michael Mansfield: Prosecution painted false picture of Mr McNamee]
Michael Mansfield: Prosecution painted false picture of Mr McNamee
During the appeal hearing Mr McNamee's counsel Michael Mansfield QC claimed the prosecution at his Old Bailey trial painted a false picture of him as the "master bomb-maker" behind the Hyde Park blast, which also killed seven horses.

He said the Crown's case against Mr McNamee, involving a "thoroughly misleading cameo of connections" was "deeply flawed from the beginning".

Mr McNamee after the case that although he had already been freed from prison under the terms of the Good Friday peace deal it had been important to him to clear his name.


Danny McNamee: We had to take on the whole British criminal justice system
"It is acknowledgement that I spent 12½ years in prison for something I did not do," he said.

He confirmed that he would be seeking compensation but said the principle was more important than any money he might receive.

"It was important to show what had been done. The prosecution had presented a completely false case against me knowing it was false," he said.

He was asked how he felt about the 1982 Hyde Park bombing when he had learned of it.

He said: "I thought the same as everybody. It was a terrible atrocity and a sad loss for the families."



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England

Relevant Stories

17 Dec 98 | UK
A long line of miscarriages of justices

17 Dec 98 | UK
McNamee's 11-year campaign for justice





Internet Links


The Official Danny McNamee Web site

The British Army


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online