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Explosives conviction overturned after 20 years

A man's conviction for possessing explosives has been overturned after a two-decade fight to clear his name.

Following an unprecedented third appeal, senior judges ruled that the guilty verdict against west Belfast man Christy Walsh was unsafe yesterday.

The Court of Appeal declared unease about the safety of the conviction due to issues around the lack of fingerprint evidence and a soldier's statement.

Walsh (46) served a 14-year prison sentence for a coffee-jar bomb he was said to have when stopped by soldiers in 1991.

His trial heard he took from his pocket a glass jar containing Semtex, which he was told to place on a low wall during his arrest at Lenadoon in west Belfast.

Walsh, a painter and decorator now based in Jordanstown, has campaigned ever since to try to prove there was a miscarriage of justice, continuing his legal battle despite losing two earlier legal challenges.

“It is generally accepted that I won this case a long time ago. This morning was just a formality in getting it officially sanctioned,” he said.

Walsh's lawyer, Kevin Winters, described it as the end of a very long road for him.

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