A mother whose son was killed by the IRA says that a police error which has allowed an alleged Irish bomber to walk away from court has made the lives of the groups’ victims seem worthless.
John Downey, aged 62, who was convicted of IRA membership in the 1970’s, was Scotland Yard’s prime suspect for the bomb which killed four soldiers in Hyde Park in July 1982.
But an Old Bailey judge has ruled he would not be prosecuted for the offence, which he denied, because he had received in error a written assurance from police he would not face prosecution.
The decision has been criticised by families of the soldiers killed in the explosion, and has been shared by Mary Adams, who Royal Marine son Mark Jones was killed by an IRA bomb in 1989.
The 27-year-old former Bishop Gore pupil, from Mumbles, was one of 11 soldiers killed when the Provisional IRA attacked the Marines’ barracks in Deal in 1989.
Mary Adams said: “I just couldn’t believe the decision. It made me think, what side are we are on?
“For the police to say they had an agreement he would not be prosecuted, makes my heart ache for the families. I know what they would be going through.
“It is just like telling relatives they have lost nothing, or getting rid of old stock.
“These people were our future. Mark would have had a family by now, and children, and we would have been involved.
“But no-one is paying a price. It makes their lives seem worthless.
“I am just so disgusted with it. I thought people were on our side, and something was going to be done about it. But those who have died have lost their identity, and just become a statistic.”