Families of Birmingham pub bombings' victims face wait to see if suspects will be named at inquests

Credit: ITV News Central

Families of the Birmingham pub bombings' victims will have to wait to find out if any potential suspects could be named at forthcoming inquests.

Lawyers representing the deceased's relatives want the scope of the hearings to include any new information about possible perpetrators as well as evidence heard at the trial of the Birmingham Six in the 1970s.

21 people were killed in the bombings on November 21 1974.

The coroner was due to make a decision today on how wide the scope of fresh inquests, set for September, would be.

However, Peter Thornton QC, agreed to hear further submissions at the hearing, with families' barrister Malachy McGowan telling the coroner the identity of potential perpetrators was "a central issue".

Mr Thornton reserved his judgement on scope to be published within seven days.

We feel as if we're being left dangling at the moment.

If you leave the perpetrator issue out of the inquest then it adds no value to the inquest, in which case we may as well not bother having an inquest at all.

– Julie Hambleton, whose older sister Maxine died in the bombings