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Tuesday, 13 June, 2000, 06:24 GMT 07:24 UK
Guildford Four man meets victim's brother
Paul Hill (right) meets Malcolm Shaw (left)
Hill faces personal convictions of a brother
One of the Guildford Four meets the brother of a former soldier he was wrongfully convicted of murdering in Belfast in 1975, on the BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight programme, to be broadcast on Tuesday evening.

In the second part of the Spotlight Special, Paul Hill meets Malcolm Shaw to try to convince him that he did not murder his brother.

Hill, a former west Belfast man, spent 15 years in a British prison after he was wrongfully convicted of bombing pubs at Guildford, Surrey, in 1974, in which five people were killed.

His conviction of involvement in the Guildford bombings was overturned in 1989 when it emerged that Surrey police had invented evidence against him and three others.

However, while being questioned by Surrey police about Guildford, he also confessed to the murder of Brian Shaw.

Two weeks after marrying a Belfast woman, the ex-soldier was abducted by the IRA in July 1974 and murdered. His body was found in the lower Falls area of Belfast.

Hill's conviction for this murder stood for five years after he was released from prison, until it was declared unsafe and unsatisfactory by the Northern Ireland Appeal Court in 1994.


Paul Hill
Hill has left behind west Belfast, but not ghosts of his past
However, he still faces an uphill struggle to change the views of Brian Shaw's brother, Malcolm.

Hill agreed to a filmed meeting with Mr Shaw in Dublin for the Spotlight programme, to discuss the overturning of the conviction which Mr Shaw has had difficulty coming to terms with.

Now living and moving in Washington's high society circles, Hill is married to Courtney Kennedy, the daughter of the assassinated American Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, and niece of JFK.

'It's a conviction'

Before the meeting took place, Mr Shaw said: " He has got plenty of money now. He could come over, and I will sit down quietly, calmly listen to what he's got to say, but I don't feel he could change my mind. "

In the exchange on the programme Hill addresses Mr Shaw saying: "You firmly believe that I killed your brother?"

Mr Shaw says: " I do. It's a conviction."

Hill answers: "A conviction. My convictions were overturned. I would like to attempt to overturn your convictions."

Mr Shaw, 54, served in Northern Ireland in the early 70s with the 14/20th King's Hussars.

He is now studying to become a Church of England minister, and as part of his training recently spent time offering pastoral care to inmates at Leyhill prison at Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire.

The Shaw conviction cast a long shadow over Hill's name after he was released.

Striking it out, the Court of Appeal in Belfast said it could not "exclude the reasonable possibility" that a revolver had been pointed through Hill's cell door by a Surrey police officer.

The judge said this was a "disgraceful and grossly improper action which clearly constituted the inhuman treatment."

The four members of the Guildford Four were Paul Hill, Gerry Conlon, Carol Richardson and Paddy Armstrong.

Murder convictions against Hill and Armstrong for killing two people in an explosion in a bar in Woolwich in 1975 were also overturned by the Court of Appeal in 1989.

The documentary also looks at Paul Hill's life since his release.

When Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was given a visa to enter the US in 1994, the programme reveals that he stayed at the mansion home of Bobby Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy, near Washington DC, following a request from Paul Hill.

"I asked my mother-in-law could they stay at Hickory Hill, and she said, absolutely.

"I thought it was kind of legitimising them. I thought it was getting them into the mainstream rather than having them stay downtown somewhere," he tells Spotlight.

The second part of the BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight Special will be broadcast on Tuesday at 2245 BST.

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See also:

06 Jun 00 | Northern Ireland
The long road from prison to high society
19 Oct 99 | Northern Ireland
Guildford Four members demand settlement
06 Jun 00 | Northern Ireland
Blair apologises to Guildford Four
Links to more Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


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