Evidence 'flawed' at bomb hearing

A MAN jailed for the IRA Hyde Park bombing, in which four soldiers died in 1982, was wrongly convicted on misleading fingerprint evidence, the Court of Appeal was told yesterday.

Counsel for Danny McNamee, 38, argued that a convicted IRA terrorist was the likely source of many of the prints found on bomb-making equipment.

They said McNamee had served 11 years of a 25-year sentence for a crime he did not commit.

He was jailed in 1987 for conspiracy to cause explosions, which included the car bomb that killed four soldiers and seven horses of the Household Cavalry and injured 17 civilians.

Michael Mansfield QC, counsel for McNamee, said a false picture had been presented of his client at his trial as a "master bomb-maker".

Earlier this month McNamee became the first person convicted of a terrorist offence in England to be freed early under the Good Friday Agreement, when he was released from the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland. His case was the first to be referred to the Court of Appeal by the newly formed Criminal Cases Review Commission, set up to examine potential miscarriages of justice.

Yesterday Mr Mansfield told the court fresh evidence concerning a convicted bomb maker, Desmond Ellis, was now available, which undermined the prosecution case against McNamee and supported his defence. Ellis was the source of a "significant proportion" of the fingerprints found on devices with "explosive significance in the case against the appellant".

McNamee's conviction turned on the discovery of his fingerprints on tape found in two IRA arms dumps and on a battery that survived the Hyde Park explosion.

But Mr Mansfield argued that his client's work at an electronics factory where he would have been handling tape and repairing radios that contained similar batteries offers an innocent and more likely explanation for how his prints came to be found.

During the appeal, expert evidence will also be used to argue that the fingerprint recovered from the battery cannot be shown to be that of McNamee.

McNamee, from Crossmaglen, South Armagh, has eight grounds of appeal before the court. Mr Mansfield said the prosecution case against McNamee was "deeply flawed from the beginning".

Unusually, the IRA has issued a statement denying McNamee was a member of its terrorist organisation.

The appeal continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk