Innocent online - Guardian Unlimited online -
Danny McNamee was convicted in London on 27 October 1987 of conspiracy to cause explosions. An appeal was dismissed in January 1991.
The case was referred by the CCRC to the Court of Appeal in July 1997. The appeal court quashed the conviction on 17 December 1998, ruling that the verdict was unsafe because there had been a failure to disclose relevant evidence. Innocent online article
Scant attention was devoted last month to the successful outcome of the appeal of Danny McNamee, known as the ‘Hyde Park bomber’. In publicity terms, McNamee was doubly disadvantaged: not only was the judgment overshadowed by pre-Christmas festivities, it was also given on a day when the news agenda was focused on Baghdad. With Britain and the US dropping so many bombs on Iraq, who was interested in a man who, we belatedly learnt, hadn’t bombed anyone at all?
Yet the judgment was of immense importance, for it offered yet another proof of how catastrophically flawed the British justice can be; and because the appeal judges fundamentally restated the legal position with regard to appeals.
McNamee had supposedly manufactured the bomb that exploded in July 1982, killing four soldiers and seven horses.
The Crown’s case rested on three fingerprints: one each on short lengths of insulating tape in two caches of explosives-making equipment discovered in Pangbourne and Salcey forests, and a thumbprint on a Duracell battery recovered from the debris after a controlled explosion in Kensington. Guardian Unlimited online article December 1998