Belfast Telegraph

Judges rule Robert Hamill accused trio will face court

A decision to quash a ruling to halt criminal proceedings against two men and a woman in connection with the Robert Hamill murder has been made by High Court judges.

Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice charges faced by the trio will now be reinstated after a challenge by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

Mr Hamill was attacked and beaten to death by a loyalist mob in Portadown in 1997. He never regained consciousness, dying in hospital 12 days later.

RUC officers in the area at the time had been accused of failing to intervene in the assault.

One of those in a Land Rover at the scene was Robert Cecil Atkinson (59). He and his wife Eleanor Atkinson, with an address at Brownstown Road, Portadown, had been accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice in connection with the investigation into the killing.

Similar allegations were made against another man, Kenneth Hanvey (62) of Derryanvil Road in the town.

All three defendants denied the claims against them.

In July last year District Judge Mervyn Bates stayed their cases on an abuse of process, sparking the judicial review.

The panel of three High Court judges, headed by Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, confirmed the decision to stay the prosecution was being quashed.

The case will now be remitted back for hearing in front of a different district judge.

Belfast Telegraph

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