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Hyde Park bomb ruling is ‘justice’ for families

Victory: Relatives of  the soldiers killed in the 1982 blast outside the High Court PICTURE: PA

RELATIVES of four British soldiers killed in the Hyde Park bombing have won the first stage of a damages claim against suspect John Downey.

Family members of Royal Household Cavalrymen said justice had ‘finally prevailed’ after a High Court judge ruled that Downey was an ‘active participant’ in the July 1982 attack.

They brought the civil action against the convicted IRA member after a criminal case collapsed at the Old Bailey in 2014.

Horror: Four Cavalry members died PICTURE: REX

Announcing her findings yesterday, Mrs Justice Yip said: ‘This was a deliberate, carefully planned attack on members of the military.

‘I have found that the defendant was an active participant in the concerted plan to detonate the bomb, with the intent to kill or at least to cause serious harm [to cavalry members].’

Squadron QMC Roy Bright, 36, Lt Dennis Daly, 23, Tpr Simon Tipper, 19, and L/Cpl Jeffrey Young, also 19, were killed by a car bomb as they paraded from their barracks through the central London park to attend the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Bomber: John Downey was an ‘active participant’ in a ‘carefully planned attack’ PICTURE: PA

Lawyers representing Sarahjane Young, whose father was one of those killed and who brought the civil case against Downey, said justice had ‘finally prevailed’ for those whose lives had been ‘devastated by the IRA’.

Speaking outside the court in London, her solicitor, Matthew Jury, said the families invite the government to meet them to ‘ensure it never fails them or other victims or veterans again’.

He said: ‘Sarahjane and the families here today were told they’d never get justice, that they should put the past behind them and move on.

‘Today, the forgotten victims are finally remembered.’

Downey, from Co. Donegal, did not play any part in the hearing but filed a written defence denying any involvement in the attack, which left 32 others injured. Seven horses had to be put down and another horse, Sefton, survived terrible injuries.

The case will now progress to a second stage to determine the amount of damages to be awarded.