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Court of Appeal overturns members of the Shrewsbury 24’s convictions


Members of the so-called Shrewsbury 24, who were convicted for picketing nearly 50 years ago, have won a bid to clear their names at the Court of Appeal.

Two dozen trade unionists who picketed during the 1972 national builders’ strike were charged with offences including unlawful assembly, conspiracy to intimidate and affray for picketing, with 22 of them convicted.

Lawyers representing 14 of the Shrewsbury 24, including The Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson, argued the destruction of original witness statements means their convictions are unsafe.

They also claimed the broadcast of a documentary, Red Under The Bed, during the first of three trials in 1973 and 1974 was “deeply prejudicial” as it would have “provoked panic in the mind” of the jury.

Actor Ricky Tomlinson
Actor Ricky Tomlinson (PA)

On Tuesday morning, the Court of Appeal allowed the appellants’ challenge to their convictions.

Announcing the decision at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Lord Justice Fulford said: “These 14 appeals against conviction are allowed across the three trials and on every extant count which the 14 appellants faced.”

The judge added: “It would not be in the public interest to order a retrial.”





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