Birmingham bomb families smash target of £10,000

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A crowd-funding appeal launched by the families of victims of the Birmingham pub bombings to fund a legal bid has smashed its £10,000 target.

The fundraising plea was launched on Friday to fund a High Court challenge to overturn a coroner’s ban on naming suspects at forthcoming inquests into the deaths of the 21 people killed in the attacks in 1974.

After a surge of funds, the appeal to pay for a judicial review of coroner Sir Peter Thornton’s original decision has raised more than £10,400 in five days.

Julie Hambleton, spokeswoman for the main campaign group Justice4the21, said: “First and foremost, the families would like to send their deepest, sincere thanks to all those who have pledged and donated their hard-earned money, especially in such a short space of time.

“This is something we have desperately tried to avoid doing during all our years of campaigning, but now it has become absolutely necessary due to the inequality of our country’s legal aid system.

“The great people of the UK and Ireland have stepped up to the mark and have become the tangible conscience of the Government, illustrating how we refuse to be ignored by them, especially when it is clear to see that a possible injustice could unfold if we do nothing.”

The money raised will be used to start what could be a lengthy legal process, costing as much as £100,000.

Miss Hambleton, whose older sister Maxine was killed in the IRA bombings, said: “If our appeal is accepted, this is only the beginning because we will need the great people of the whole of the UK and Ireland to dig deep to help us fight the the unbalanced scales of justice.”

A spokesman for KRW Law, which represents 10 of the families, said: “Any application for legal aid to seek permission to judicially review the decision of the coroner would take excessive time or be rejected in any event.

“Therefore our clients are using crowd-funding to resource this fresh challenge in their quest for truth, justice and accountability.”

• Donations can be made at www.crowdjustice.com/case/justice4the21/