Tag Archives: Lee Houghton,

4th February – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

4th February

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Thursday 4 February 1971

Vernon Erskine-Crum, a Lieutenant-General, became General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the British Army (BA) in Northern Ireland.

Sunday 4 February 1973

A member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and 3 Catholic civilians were shot dead by members of the British Army in the New Lodge area of Belfast. Three other people died in separate incidents in Belfast.

Monday 4 February 1974

m62 coach bombing

‘M62 Coach Bomb’ The Irish Republican Army (IRA) planted a bomb (estimated at between 20 and 25 pounds) on a coach carrying British soldiers and their families. The bomb exploded shortly after midnight as the coach travelled along the M62 in England and 11 people were killed at the scene and one other person died a few days later.

Many of the passengers were injured in the blast. [This bomb was the first of many attacks in Britain during 1974. Judith Ward was later convicted of causing the explosion and given a sentence of 30 years. It wasn’t until 1992 that her convictions were quashed and she was released.] A Catholic civilian was shot dead by Loyalists in Belfast.

See M62 Coach Bomb

Friday 4 February 1977

The police in England uncover an Irish Republican Army (IRA) ‘bomb factory’ in Liverpool.

Sunday 4 February 1979

  

Patrick MacKin (60), a former Prison Officer, and his wife Violet (58), were both shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) at their home in Oldpark Road, Belfast.

Tuesday 4 February 1992

Shooting at SF Office An off-duty Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer, Allen Moore, walked into the Falls Road office of Sinn Féin (SF) and shot dead three Catholic civilians. Moore drove away from the scene and later shot himself. Two of those killed were members of SF.

Sunday 4 February 1996

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) rejected calls from the Irish Government for a start to negotiations. George Mitchell, then chair of the International Body on Arms Decommissioning, said that there was a danger of an Irish Republican Army (IRA) split if there was no movement to all-party talks.

Tuesday 4 February 1997

Ken Maginnis, then Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament (MP), called on the British government to apologise for ‘Bloody Sunday’.

Wednesday 4 February 1998

The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) admitted firing a shot at a Protestant man in the

Mourneview estate in Lurgan, County Armagh. The man wasn’t injured but the LVF warned him to leave the area. In a report to the House of Commons Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Colin Smith, then Inspector of Constabulary, said that senior members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) were “reluctant” to embrace changes in the organisation and displayed “defensiveness” towards new ideas.

Proposals contained in the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Bill would mean that organisers of demonstrations would be required to provide the RUC with 14 days notice.

Thursday 4 February 1999

Nicholas Mullen, the last of the Republican prisoners to be held at a jail in England, was released by the Court of Appeal in London. A unit of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) announced that it was rearming.

The claim was welcomed by the Red Hand Defenders (RHD). Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, rejected criticism from Patrick Mayhew, the former Secretary of State, that the Labour government was in a state of “paralysis” over paramilitary violence.

It was reported that during negotiations on the Good Friday Agreement the Irish Government came under pressure from Sinn Féin to include on the list of people eligible for early release those charged with the killing of Jerry McCabe, who was a Detective in the Garda Síochána (the Irish police). The Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued a statement claiming that some of its weapons had been stolen by Republicans opposed to the peace process.

Sunday 4 February 2001

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) described a pipe-bomb used in an attack in Newcastle, County Down, in which a couple were injured, as a “relatively sophisticated device”. The 24 year old woman and 25 year old man sustained minor leg injuries after they lifted the device from the top of their car.

The police said a 13 year old boy also suffered a minor cut to his arm as he was walking past when the device exploded. A north Belfast family escaped injury when a pipe-bomb was thrown through the window of their home. The family fled from their home in the New Lodge area as it caught fire. The RUC said they were treating the attack as attempted murder.

Monday 4 February 2002

Postal deliveries were disrupted in Derry following a threat made against a Catholic postman who worked in the Waterside area of the city. The threat was made to the Samaritans on Sunday 3 February 2002 and the threat was made about a named individual. The police advised the man to stay away from the Waterside.

[The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) later issued a statement denying that it had made the threat.]

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry recommenced following an adjournment for the 30th anniversary of the killings (30 January 1972). William George Hunter became the first police witness to give evidence to the inquiry. The former Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer, who had been a member of Special Branch, was screened from the public and the press as he gave his evidence.

See Bloody Sunday

The Inquiry had earlier ruled that he faced a “special danger” which overrode the public duty to conduct an open inquiry. Hunter told the inquiry that he heard nail-bombs and a sub-machine gun prior to the shooting by the paratroopers. Hunter was positioned at Barrier 14 in William Street on Bloody Sunday.

The afternoon session of the inquiry was adjourned when it became clear that other former RUC officers had expressed a desire to given evidence from behind screens. The Belfast Education and Library Board published a report showing that literacy levels in Belfast were the lowest of any are in Northern Ireland. The report was based on a survey that tested nearly 3,000 15 year olds in a cross-section of schools throughout the region.

It was part of the Programme for International Student Assessment, which was carried out in 32 countries by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The report made 70 recommendations for improvement.

see Segregation in Northern Ireland

Peter Robinson (DUP), then Minister for Regional Development, announced plans to try to secure an additional £950 million over 10 years for spending on roads and public transport services in the region.

[Two thirds of the money is planned to be spent on roads and some lobby groups suggested that a greater percentage should have been allocated for public transport.]

A man (19) was shot three times in the leg in north Belfast during a Loyalist paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack. The incident happened at approximately 9.00pm (2100GMT) after three men broke into the victim’s home in Mount Vernon Drive, off the Shore Road.

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Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the death of the following  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live  forever

– To  the Paramilitaries  –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

26 People   lost their lives on the 4th February  between  1972 – 1992

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04 February 1973


 James McCann,   (18)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Died shortly after being shot from passing car, while standing outside Lynch’s Bar, corner of New Lodge Road and Antrim Road, Belfast.

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04 February 1973


Anthony Campbell,  (19)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by British Army (BA) sniper at the junction of Edlingham Street and New Lodge Road, Belfast.

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04 February 1973


Ambrose Hardy,  (26)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by British Army (BA) sniper at the junction of Edlingham Street and New Lodge Road, Belfast.

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04 February 1973


Brenda Maguire,   (33)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by British Army (BA) sniper at the junction of Edlingham Street and New Lodge Road, Belfast.

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04 February 1973


John Loughran,   (35)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by British Army (BA) sniper at the junction of Edlingham Street and New Lodge Road, Belfast.

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04 February 1973
John Boyd,  (33)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot, by the side of Connswater River, off Severn Street, Belfast.

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04 February 1973


Seamus Gilmore,   (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot at his workplace, Mount Pleasant Filling Station, Ballysillan Road, Belfast

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04 February 1974
Leonard Godden,   (22)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974


Terence Griffin,   (24)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974
Michael Waugh,   (22)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974
Leslie Walsh,  (19)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974
Paul Reid,  (17)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England

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04 February 1974
Jack Hynes,  (19)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974
James McShane,  (28)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974


Clifford Houghton,   (23)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England

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04 February 1974


Linda Houghton, (23)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England

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04 February 1974


Lee Houghton, (5)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England

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04 February 1974


Robert Houghton,   (2)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974


Stephen Whalley,   (18)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Injured in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England. He died 7 February 1974.

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04 February 1974


Vincent Clarke,   (43)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot outside his garage, Whiterock Gardens, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

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04 February 1978
Martha McAlpine,  (69)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot from passing van during gun attack on nearby Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) foot patrol, outside Seaview football ground, Shore Road, Skegoneill, Belfast.

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04 February 1979


Patrick Mackin,   (60)

Catholic
Status: ex-Prison Officer (xPO),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot together with his wife, at their home, Oldpark Road, Belfast.

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04 February 1979


Violet Mackin,  (58)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot together with her husband, a former Prison Officer, at their home, Oldpark Road, Belfast.

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04 February 1992


Patrick Loughran,  (61)

Catholic
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Sinn Fein (SF) member. Shot by off duty Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) member at Sinn Fein (SF) Advice Centre, Sevastopol Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

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04 February 1992


Patrick McBride,  (40)

Catholic
Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Sinn Fein (SF) member. Shot by off duty Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) member at Sinn Fein (SF) Advice Centre, Sevastopol Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

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04 February 1992


Michael O’Dwyer,  (24)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Shot by off duty Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) member at Sinn Fein (SF) Advice Centre, Sevastopol Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

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M62 Coach Bombing – 12 People including 2 children slaughtered by the IRA

The M62 coach bombing happened on 4 February 1974 on the M62 motorway in northern England, when a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb exploded in a coach carrying off-duty British Armed Forces personnel and their family members. Twelve people (nine soldiers, three civilians) were killed by the bomb, which consisted of 25 pounds (11 kg) of high explosive hidden in a luggage locker on the coach.[2] Judith Ward was convicted of the crime later in 1974, but 18 years later the conviction was judged as wrongful and she was released from prison.

 

The bombing

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M62 coach bombing
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Plaque unveiled in Oldham in 2010 in memory of the victims of the bombing

The coach had been specially commissioned to carry British Army and Royal Air Force personnel on leave with their families from and to the bases at Catterick and Darlington during a period of railway strike action. The vehicle had departed from Manchester and was making good progress along the motorway. Shortly after midnight, when the bus was between junction 26 and 27, near Oakwell Hall, there was a large explosion on board. Most of those aboard were sleeping at the time. The blast, which could be heard several miles away, reduced the coach to a “tangle of twisted metal” and threw body parts up to 250 yards (230 m).[3]

The explosion killed eleven people outright and wounded over fifty others[citation needed], one of whom died four days later. Amongst the dead were nine soldiers – two from the Royal Artillery, three from the Royal Corps of Signals and four from the 2nd battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. One of the latter was Corporal Clifford Haughton, whose entire family, consisting of his wife Linda and his sons Lee (5) and Robert (2), also died. Numerous others suffered severe injuries, including a six-year-old boy, who was badly burned.[3]

The driver of the coach, Roland Handley, was injured by flying glass, but was hailed as a hero for bringing the coach safely to a halt. Handley died, aged 76, after a short illness, in January 2011.[4]

Suspicions immediately fell upon the IRA, which was in the midst of an armed campaign in Britain involving numerous operations, later including the Guildford pub bombing and the Birmingham pub bombings.

Reaction

Memorial plaque at Hartshead Moor services

Reactions in Britain were furious, with senior politicians from all parties calling for immediate action against the perpetrators and the IRA in general.[5] The British media were equally condemnatory; according to The Guardian, it was “the worst IRA outrage on the British mainland” at that time,[6] whilst the BBC has described it as “one of the IRA’s worst mainland terror attacks”.[7] The Irish Sunday Business Post later described it as the “worst” of the “awful atrocities perpetrated by the IRA” during this period.[8]

IRA Army Council member Dáithí Ó Conaill was challenged over the bombing and the death of civilians during an interview, and replied that the coach was bombed because IRA intelligence indicated that it was carrying military personnel only.[9]

The attack’s most lasting consequence was the adoption of much stricter ‘anti-terrorism‘ laws in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, allowing police to hold those ‘suspected of terrorism’ for up to seven days without charge, and to deport those ‘suspected of terrorism’ in Britain or the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland to face trial, where special courts judged with separate rules on ‘terrorism‘ suspects.[10]

The entrance hall of the westbound section of the Hartshead Moor service area was used as a first aid station for those wounded in the blast. A memorial to those who were killed was later created there.[7] following a campaign by relatives of the dead, a larger memorial was later erected, set some yards away from the entrance hall.[11][12][13] The site, situated behind four flag poles, includes an English oak tree, a memorial stone, a memorial plaque and a raised marble tablet inscribed with the names of those who died.

A memorial plaque engraved with the names of the casualties was also unveiled in Oldham in 2010.[14]

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Victims

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04 February 1974
Leonard Godden,   (22)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974


Terence Griffin,   (24)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974
Michael Waugh,   (22)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974
Leslie Walsh,  (19)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974
Paul Reid,  (17)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England

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04 February 1974
Jack Hynes,  (19)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974
James McShane,  (28)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974


Clifford Houghton,   (23)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England

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04 February 1974


Linda Houghton, (23)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England

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04 February 1974


Lee Houghton, (5)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England

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04 February 1974


Robert Houghton,   (2)

nfNIB
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England.

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04 February 1974


Stephen Whalley,   (18)

nfNIB
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Injured in time bomb attack on British Army (BA) coach travelling along M62 motorway, Yorkshire, England. He died 7 February 1974.

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04 February 1974

Prosecution

Second memorial at Hartshead Moor services

Following the explosion, the British public and politicians from all three major parties called for “swift justice”.[5] The ensuing police investigation led by Detective Chief Superintendent George Oldfield was rushed, careless and ultimately forged, resulting in the arrest of the mentally ill Judith Ward who claimed to have conducted a string of bombings in Britain in 1973 and 1974 and to have married and had a baby with two separate IRA members. Despite her retraction of these claims,[15] the lack of any corroborating evidence against her, and serious gaps in her testimony – which was frequently rambling, incoherent and “improbable”[16] – she was wrongfully convicted in November 1974. Following her conviction, the Irish Republican Publicity Bureau issued a statement:

Miss Ward was not a member of Óglaigh na hÉireann and was not used in any capacity by the organisation. She had nothing to do what-so-ever with the military coach bomb (on 4 February 1974), the bombing of Euston Station and the attack on Latimer Military College. Those acts were authorised operations carried out by units of the Irish Republican Army.[17]

The case against her was almost completely based on inaccurate scientific evidence using the Griess test and deliberate manipulation of her confession by some members of the investigating team.[5] The case was similar to those of the Guildford Four, the Birmingham Six and the Maguire Seven, which occurred at the same time and involved similar forged confessions and inaccurate scientific analysis. Ward was finally released in 1992, when three Appeal Court judges held unanimously that her conviction was “a grave miscarriage of justice”, and that it had been “secured by ambush