Attorney General says ‘no bar’ on any civil proceedings brought by families of soldiers killed in 1982 IRA Hyde Park bombing

Date: Thu 27th February 2014

DARTFORD MP Gareth Johnson today questioned the Attorney General over whether civil proceedings could be brought by the families of the four soldiers killed in the 1982 IRA Hyde Park bombing.

The issue arose in the House of Commons following the ruling in the High Court that John Downey could not be prosecuted for the murders of four members of the Household Cavalry in 1982. This judgement happened as a result of Mr Downey receiving a letter from the Police service of Northern Ireland telling him that he was not a wanted man despite the fact that Scotland Yard wanted to question him over the murders.

During an urgent debate in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said: “The ending of criminal proceedings against John Downey is deeply disturbing, so will the Attorney-General confirm that while criminal proceedings are preferable and what we all want to see in the House, there should be no bar to civil proceedings against Mr Downey by the victims’ families?”

In response, Attorney General Dominic Grieve MP said: “Civil proceedings are for the individuals concerned but, no, the letters do not amount to any sort of bar on civil proceedings.”

After the debate Mr Johnson said: “ I remember the deep shock and outrage that was caused by these murders. It was a horrific attack on unarmed men that left four soldiers and seven horses dead. It also preceded a bombing in Regents Park that left seven members of the Royal Green Jackets dead. This is a dreadful situation which has caused deep anxiety to the families of those who died in these incidents.”