Confined & Maligned

Christy Walsh explains the background to his arrest and subsequent case. Christy Walsh is the victim of a miscarriage of justice perpetuated by the inappropriately titled Minister for Justice, David Ford.  Christy Walsh has battled for over two decades to clear his name. He blogs at The Fundamental Flaws in the Arrest, Trial & Appeals of Christy Walsh.

On 5 June 1991 a member of the Parachute Regiment stopped me in close proximity to where a bomb had been found.

Two days later a member of the RUC asked NI Forensic Science Labs to measure my coat pockets to confirm if the device would fit in any. That same day the soldier made a statement alleging that he instructed me to remove a glass coffee jar device from my coat pocket and place it on a nearby wall.

8 Oct 1991: all forensic tests had been completed and there was no forensic evidence linking me to the jar or from the jar to me. (No fingerprints on glass surface or on Cellotape with mostly its sticky side outer most. (I was not wearing gloves), sticky tape had picked up fibres but none from me and none cross-transferred to me, and no explosive residues.)

25 Oct 1991: I was remanded back into RUC custody for one month and severely beaten sustaining injuries all over my head, neck, lower back and both legs. I was returned to Crumlin Road prison four days later after a habeus corpus was issued ordering my return. Not until the Anti-Terrorist Act 2005 was 28 day interrogation made lawful.

February 1992: a second soldier alleged that he witnessed his colleague stop me and instruct me to place the device on the wall.

The four man patrol all testified that they did not see anyone else near where I was arrested.

In 1998 the second soldier retracted his trial testimony under police caution after it was confirmed to have been untrue. The first soldier disclosed that they had been “coached” before my trial. A third soldier disclosed that he and the second Soldier had stopped the original three men. He had said this in his original statement in 1991 but had told to change his statement to remove mention of the three men.

In 2002 the Court of Appeal (Carswell) found the Trial Judge’s “main criticism" and reason for convicting me was not lawful. That Court went on to conclude that my “conviction was to be regarded as safe, even if, a breach of Article 6 of the Convention had occurred” (Right to a fair trial).

February 2008: new evidence was discovered that the same patrol had also detained three other men as much as 15 minutes before my arrival. Police records allege that one of these men was originally in "possession of the device".

July 2008 Prosecution Service confirm that a murder file put before the Trial Judge “contains nothing relating to your client”.

March 2010: the Court of Appeal found the (unlawful) conviction unsafe. I took one of the Prosecutor’s files from the courtroom and it contained Photographic evidence that would have exonerated me and confirms the soldier’s claim to having been coached.

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