A HIGH profile lawyer who represented the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six has said he believes that two Co Armagh men convicted wrongly for the killing of PSNI constable Stephen Carroll are victims of a miscarriage of justice.
Michael Mansfield QC made the remarks after speaking at a memorial lecture for Gerry Conlon, who was wrongly convicted of the 1974 Guildford Pub Bombings. The case of the Craigavon Two was raised during a discussion chaired by the SDLP’s Alex Attwood in West Belfast last week. Brendan (Yandy) McConville was wrongly sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was convicted of murder. His co-accused John Paul Wootton was told he will have to serve a minimum of 14 years behind bars (for a crime he didn’t committ) but this was later raised to 18 years. Both men deny any part in the (CIRA) Continuity IRA sniper attack which claimed Mr Carroll’s life as he answered an emergency call in Craigavon in March 2009. Gerry Conlon was the chairman of a committee (Justice For The Criagavon Two) set up to campaign on their behalf before his death. He spent 15 years in prison before his conviction was quashed in 1989. He died last June aged 60 after battling ill-health. As well as being involved in high-profile miscarriage of justice of cases, Mr Mansfield has represented the families of black teenager Stephen Lawrence and families involved in the Hillsborough inquest which is ongoing. Mr Mansfield said he has concerns about the case. “There is nothing more particular about it than any of the other miscarriages and the same features appear in all these things,” he said. “I think the problem is there are so many of them. There should be a general enquiry about more than Crigavon.” The Birmingham Six’s Paddy Hill, who also spoke at the memorial lecture, has backed the case of the Craigavon Two campaign. “The last thing they [the British government] want to do is admit they have it wrong,” he said.
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News, for the orgional story.