Guildford Four police made up confessions, Old Bailey told

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The Independent Online
Three detectives manufactured notes containing the confessions of one of the Guildford Four, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

Julian Bevan QC, for the prosecution, said the handwritten notes were 'vital evidence' at the trial of Patrick Armstrong for the 1974 IRA bombings but were not made contemporaneously. Mr Bevan was opening the case against Thomas Style, 59, a former detective chief inspector; John Donaldson, 57, a former detective sergeant; and Vernon Attwell, 52, a former detective constable. They deny conspiring together between October 1974 and October 1975 to pervert the course of justice by manufacturing notes of interviews with Mr Armstrong.

Mr Bevan said the 'integrity and honesty' of the three detectives was at the heart of the prosecution case during the 1975 trial. They had denied intimidating Mr Armstrong, or that the confessions were based on their suggestions, and said the notes were made contemporaneously.

He said that in 1989, Avon and Somerset police investigating the case for the Court of Appeal discovered rough typewritten notes, containing many amendments and additions, in the Surrey police files on the case.

'A detailed comparison . . . shows that the typed notes must have been written up before the handwritten notes came into existence. The submission of the Crown is that they were manufactured.'

Mr Bevan said the interviews with Mr Armstrong following his arrest in December 1974 contained an admission to membership of the IRA, named the other three people who stood trial with him, Paul Hill, Gerald Conlon and Carole Richardson and described involvement in the bombings. All four were freed by the Court of Appeal in 1989.

Accusations of tampering, page 2