Hyde Park victim’s brother: ‘If our kid had died in battle he knew what he was going there for. No one deserves to die like he did’

Relatives of some of those killed in the IRA Hyde Park attack 35 years ago during a wreath laying after a march in Hyde Park, London, as part of a campaign to bring an accused bomber to justice. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Relatives of some of those killed in the IRA Hyde Park attack 35 years ago during a wreath laying after a march in Hyde Park, London, as part of a campaign to bring an accused bomber to justice. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Hyde Park families are one step closer to getting their day in court after papers were issued on the chief suspect in the 1982 bombing.

While pleased that a crowdfunded appeal had borne fruit and brought the families closer to civil proceedings against John Downey for the IRA atrocity, one of the victims’ relatives said he regrets they have had to proceed down this route.

Mark Tipper, whose brother Simon was one of four members of the Royal Household Cavalry killed in the attack, blames Tony Blair for the collapse of the Old Bailey trial against the same suspect.

It was under Mr Blair’s Labour government that ‘on the run’ letters were introduced, one of which was mistakenly issued to Downey.

Mr Tipper said: “Since the collapse of the trial the families have had to fight every step of the way to get John Downey brought to trial. It feels like there has been a foot against the door to stop us getting in.

“But now we’re here and we’re challenging him to come to court and face justice. If he’s not guilty like he says he is he’ll walk away a free man.

“All I know is once this is over I can start to sleep easy. We deserve justice. If this is upsetting his life now, then good, because he’ll know how we’ve felt for the last 35 years.”

He added: “If our kid had died in battle he knew what he was going there for. No one deserves to die like he did.”