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Tuesday, February 10, 1998 Published at 17:16 GMT


Docklands bomb suspect cleared
image: [ The Docklands bomb caused damage estimated at £150 million ]
The Docklands bomb caused damage estimated at £150 million

A garage owner accused of taking part in the bombing that ended the IRA's 18-month ceasefire has been cleared.

The London Docklands in February, 1996, killed two people and caused damage estimated at £150 million.

The BBC's Christine Stewart reports from the Old Bailey (1'-53)
Mr Justice Blofeld ordered the Old Bailey jury to find Patrick McKinley, 34, from Newry, Northern Ireland, not guilty because there was insufficient evidence.

Mr McKinley was alleged to have played an important role in converting the lorry which was used to carry the bomb into the Docklands.

The prosecution said that Mr McKinley's part in the bombing was important but was in the background.

Mr Justice Blofeld said in his view "that evidence simply does not exist."

Mr McKinley had denied conspiring to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom or Ireland between October 30 1995 and February 10 1996.

He was jointly charged with James McCardle, 29, from Crossmaglen, Northern Ireland, who is also accused of murdering two men - Inam Bashir and John Jeffries - on February 9 1996.

McCardle denies all the charges. His trial is continuing.

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