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  1. ITV Report

Birmingham Pub Bombings: High Court quashes decision not to allow naming of alleged perpetrators

The inquests will explore the circumstances of the deaths of 21 people killed in the IRA bombings of two pubs in 1974. Credit: ITV News

The High Court has quashed a decision by the coroner at the inquest into the Birmingham pub bombings not to allow discussion of the alleged perpetrators.

21 people were killed and more than 180 were injured after bombs exploded at two pubs in November 1974.

The families of the victims raised £10,000 to overturn a ruling banning the identification of suspects at renewed inquests in July 2017.

Hon Mrs Justice Carr in the High Court said the coroner must now reconsider that decision.

We are minded to quash the coroner's decision which excluded the perpetrator issue and remit the case so as to enable him to reconsider the decision.

– Hon Mrs Justice Carr
Families of some of the victims at an earlier hearing. Credit: ITV News

A previous botched police investigation into the attacks led to the wrongful convictions of the Birmingham Six - one of the most infamous miscarriages of justice in British legal history. They were released in 1991.

The families have since been fighting to see the people behind bombings brought to justice.

Speaking ahead of the verdict, Julie Hambleton, whose sister was killed in the bombings, said: “We able to do something for those who aren’t able to do it themselves. As long as we have breath within us, we will continue to fight.”

A spokesperson for the Inquests said:

The Coroner is committed to ensuring that the inquests start as soon as possible but now wishes to take some time to consider carefully the judgment handed by the High Court and its impact on the future progress of the inquests.

The Coroner is grateful for the considerable help and assistance he has had from all Interested Persons in the inquests to date.

He will continue to work closely with the families and all Interested Persons as he progresses with his investigation into the tragic events in Birmingham 43 years ago.

At present, a further pre-inquest review hearing is listed for 22 February 2018.

– Spokesperson for the Inquest