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No doubt over Hyde Park prints, says expert

The case ended yesterday, with the judge indicating that she will deliver her judgment next week (stock photo)
The case ended yesterday, with the judge indicating that she will deliver her judgment next week (stock photo)

By Staff Reporter

There is "no question whatsoever" that John Downey's fingerprints are on car park tickets linked to the Hyde Park bomb, an expert has said.

Fingerprint expert Stephen Hughes was speaking on the second day of a civil case, which seeks to establish if he is liable for the 1982 attack.

The case has been brought by the daughter of one of the soldiers killed, on behalf of other relatives and victims.

Downey (67) is not represented in court, but in correspondence has denied any involvement.

The case ended yesterday, with the judge indicating that she will deliver her judgment next week.

If Mrs Justice Yip concludes that Downey is liable, a second stage of the case will consider the amount of damages to be awarded.

The Hyde Park attack happened on July 20, 1982. Four Household Cavalry soldiers were murdered, 31 people were injured and seven horses had to be put down. Squadron Quartermaster Corporal Roy Bright (36), Lieutenant Dennis Daly (23), Trooper Simon Tipper (19), and Lance Corporal Jeffrey Young, also 19, died when the car bomb exploded as they rode through the central London park to attend the changing of the guard.

Yesterday, evidence was heard from Mr Hughes, who referred to five identifiable prints on two tickets for the Morris Marina car used in the attack.

Mr Hughes examined the car park tickets against fingerprints the Metropolitan Police took from Downey when he was arrested in 2013 - the criminal prosecution against Downey for the Hyde Park attack collapsed the next year.

"I have absolutely no question whatsoever they are made by the same person," Mr Hughes said.

Lord Brennan QC, acting for Sarah Jane Young, who brought the case, said the fingerprint evidence was served on Mr Downey in preparation for the hearing. "He has totally failed ever to deal with it," he told the court.

It was "common sense" that someone involved with the movement of the bomb car "was a principal party" in the attack, the lawyer contended.

In a written submission, Downey said there had been "a 30-year police policy" to link him to the Hyde Park bombing.

Lord Brennan said that had nothing to do with the civil action, which was founded on the fingerprint evidence.

On Wednesday, the first day of the civil case heard claims the objective of the Hyde Park bombing was the "cold-blooded killing" of British soldiers.

Mrs Justice Yip is due to deliver her judgment on Wednesday.

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