Guildford pub bombings: IRA blast pre-inquest hearings announced

The Surrey Coroner has agreed to consider reopening the inquests into those killed in the Guildford pub bombings, human rights lawyers representing the family of a soldier killed in the incident have confirmed.

Nov 9, 2017

The Surrey Coroner has agreed to consider reopening the inquests into those killed in the Guildford pub bombings, human rights lawyers representing the family of a soldier killed in the incident have confirmed. The pre-inquest review will be held at Surrey Coroner’s Court next year after KRW Law asked its senior coroner Richard Travers to look again into the terror attack. Surrey Police is “waiting to hear” from Mr Travers following the legal submission on resuming the judicial inquiry into the victims of the two Guildford pub bombings on October 5, 1974 that killed five people and injured 65 more. Lawyers claim questions remain over an original police investigation and officers` actions in the wake of their formal request to reopen the inquests into one of the UK`s most infamous historical “miscarriages of justice”. Four men, who subsequently became known as the Guildford Four, were found guilty a year later but their convictions were quashed in 1989 and no-one has so far since been brought to justice for the terrorist attack. Convicted Paul Hill, Gerry Conlon, Patrick Armstrong and Carole Richardson – known as the Guildford Four – served 15 years before being released. KRW Law is representing a former soldier who survived the blast at the Horse & Groom and is still suffering from PTSD, and Ann McKernan, sister of Gerry Conlon who died in 2014. A statement from the law firm said: “We have been informed it is the Senior Coroner’s intention to locate and contact the families of those who died as a result of the bombings to explain the nature of the application that has been made and, should they so wish, to allow them to make representations in respect of it. “Once contact with the families has been made, the Coroner will list the matter for a hearing so that written and oral submissions can be presented to the Court. “In the circumstances, it is unlikely that that hearing will take place before the end of the year. “KRW Law welcomes this decision of the Senior Coroner and his intention to locate and contact the families of the victims. “We also welcome the possibility of a hearing at which we can make further written submissions and oral argument before him.” Christopher Stanley, the firm’s litigation consultant, said: “Our experience of resumed and fresh inquests in Northern Ireland and in Birmingham has demonstrated to us that this legal process can provide a truth recovery mechanism for relatives of victims and survivors and provide answers to many unanswered questions. “Those relatives and survivors are entitled as a matter of law, and indeed an internationally binding legal agreement, to have access to a judicially supervised forum which provides unambiguous access to truth recovery for themselves and for their communities.” ’Force waits to hear’

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