Coroner orders new inquest over Birmingham bombings

Coroner orders new inquest over Birmingham bombings

Inquests into one of the worst terrorist attacks in Britain’s history are to be reopened, after a coroner ruled that there were serious concerns over how the police dealt with the deaths of 21 people.

Forty-two years after the Birmingham bombings Louise Hunt, the senior coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, ruled today that it was needed as police failed to act on two warnings prior to the double bombing.

Paddy Hill outside The Old Bailey after his release in 1991
Paddy Hill outside The Old Bailey after his release in 1991

The initial hearings were discontinued after the ‘Birmingham Six’ were jailed, even though they were released in 1991.

“There is a wealth of evidence that still has not been heard”

Ms Hunt said: “There is a wealth of evidence that still has not been heard – I have decided the inquest should resume.”

She said she received evidence suggesting police were tipped off when two men were overheard saying Birmingham would be bombed ‘next week’.

She also dismissed claims by West Midlands Police who argued she did not have the authority to hear the inquests.

Families of the deceased and 182 injured have been pushing for the case to be reopened since the innocence of the Birmingham Six was established.

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