Secret letters 'sent to Birmingham bomb suspects'

Victims of the 1974 IRA Birmingham pub bombings reacted furiously to claims from one of the men whose conviction was quashed that police sent secret letters promising two people that they would not be prosecuted. 21 people were killed in the atrocity

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Birmingham pub bombs suspects 'promised immunity'

One of the men who was wrongly convicted of the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974 has claimed police sent secret letters to two people the IRA claimed were actually behind the atrocity.

Paddy Hill was one of the Birmingham Six, who had their convictions quashed in 1991 having wrongly spent 16 years in jail over the attacks that killed 21 people and injured 182 others.

He told the Birmingham Mail: "I think it was about 1980 that I was told about the IRA claiming five people were involved in the Birmingham bombings. I understand two have since died. They never named anyone.

Paddy Hill claims two IRA members received letters of immunity from prosecution. Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

"I understand that two of these men received letters from the British Government, telling them they would not be prosecuted. One of the five has not received such a letter. The two others have died."

He added: "Many people are sweating, not knowing what's going on. It might prevent further admissions of guilt because they will now wonder if they will face prosecution."

Victims furious at pub bomb suspects' immunity letters

The Mulberry Bush was one of two Birmingham pubs bombed in November 1974, killing 21 people and injuring 182. Credit: PA Archive

Victims of the IRA Birmingham pub bombings have said they are "incandescent with frustration, anger and more grief" after it was claimed police sent secret letters promising immunity to two men in relation to the deadly blasts.

Paddy Hill, one of the Birmingham Six whose convictions for the atrocity were famously quashed, said two of the five people the IRA told him were involved in the 1974 bombing were informed they would not face prosecution.

It comes after a judicial inquiry was launched into the revelation that letters were sent to around 200 IRA on the runs informing them that they were not wanted by police.

Mr Hill's allegations are to be raised with the West Midlands chief constable by the local police commissioner.

Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine died, said: "It is almost as if we are re-living the horrors of losing our sister all over again and being slapped in the face."


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