‘No prosecution’ vow over pub bombs

Victims of the IRA Birmingham pub bombings have reacted furiously to claims that police sent secret letters promising two people that they would not be prosecuted.

Paddy Hill received a life sentence for the atrocity but his conviction was later quashed.

He said two people the IRA claimed were involved were told they would not face prosecution for the 1974 attacks which killed 21 people. His allegations are to be raised with the West Midlands chief constable by the local police commissioner.

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Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine died, said: “We are incandescent with frustration, anger and more grief.

“It is almost as if we are re-living the horrors of losing our sister all over again.”

Letters sent to around 200 IRA on the runs told them that they were not wanted by police. The Government insists these did not constitute immunity from prosecution. The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) scheme emerged during the collapse of the trial of alleged Hyde Park bomber John Downey.