Published On: 25th January 2021

On February 3rd and 4th 2021 the Court of Appeal is due to hear the cases of members of the Shrewsbury 24.

PILC is representing Ricky Tomlinson and Arthur Murray. We have instructed Piers Marquis and Annabel Timan of Doughty St. Chambers as counsel.

Ricky and Arthur were two members of the Shrewsbury 24, ordinary trade unionists arrested for their involvement in the national builders’ strike in 1972. In 1973 Ricky, along with Des Warren, was sentenced to prison for unlawful assembly, conspiracy to intimidate and affray.

On 26th May 2020 the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) referred Ricky and Arthur’s cases to the Court for reconsideration. To our knowledge a total of 14 of the Shrewsbury 24 have had their cases referred.

The Court is being asked to consider:

  1. New evidence consisting of a note dated 17 September 1973 revealing that some original statements had been destroyed. Neither this note, nor the fact that statements were destroyed, was disclosed to the defence at the time of the trial;
  2. New legal arguments relating to the screening of the TV programme The Red Under the Bed during the 1972 trial, and an analysis, applying modern standards of fairness, of the way the airing of the documentary was handled by the trial judge. The programme was highly critical of trade union organising.

We will provide a full report after the hearing.

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