Hyde Park Barracks families can now sue

Hyde Park Barracks families can now sue
John Downey

Hyde Park Barracks families can now sue

A man accused of the 1982 Hyde Park bombings can now be sued by the families of the victims after they were granted legal aid.

In 2014, John Downey was charged with the murder of the four Royal Household Cavalrymen who died in the blast, but the case against the convicted IRA member collapsed at the Old Bailey. Downey has always denied guilt.

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) last week agreed to fund the relatives’ case against Downey, having previously refused multiple applications.

The car bomb, which was left in South Carriage Drive, killed squadron quartermaster Cpl Roy Bright, 36, Lt Dennis Daly, 23, trooper Simon Tipper, 19, and L/Cpl Jeffrey Young, 19, and injured others as they rode through Hyde Park to the changing of the guard.

The case against the Downey collapsed after it was revealed he had received a written assurance from former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government that he was no longer wanted. The letter was issued under the terms of the controversial on-the-runs (OTRs) scheme.

An LAA spokesman said: “We can confirm that legal aid has been awarded to families of the victims of the 1982 Hyde Park bombing. As with all funding decisions, we reviewed the application in accordance with the information provided and the legal aid regulations.

“Our deepest sympathies remain with those affected by this atrocity.”

Seven horses were also killed as the soldiers travelled from their barracks to Buckingham Palace. Another horse, Sefton, survived with terrible injuries.

Sarah Jane Young, the daughter of L/Cpl Young, told The Sun: “When I heard the news, I burst into tears. It’s the best day I’ve had in years. I only dreamed we’d ever get to this moment, but now anything’s possible.”

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