Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Can This Be Justice?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Can This Be Justice?

Article excerpt

Joyriders who killed pensioner Jimmy Mulligan are not to face court, one of Tony Blair's top aides admitted today.

Home Office Minister Lord Falconer ruled out any action against the killers of the 73-year-old grandad.

His admission in a letter to MP Joyce Quin has left Mr Mulligan's family furious.

But today they pledged their fight for justice would continue, and Mr Mulligan's son Keith said he would be presenting the PM with an 8,000 name petition next month.

Keith, 51, wanted Christopher Eade and Robert Webber, named and shamed by the Chronicle as the men inside the car that killed his father, to face court.

He said: "I want it known that we will not stop in our fight.

"Joyce Quin has been with us every step of the way, the Chronicle has been with us every step of the way and the people in the North East have been with us every step of the way.

"We will not stop until these killers get some form of justice."

Mr Mulligan was killed last May when the car driven by the two men crashed into him as he stood at a bus stop in Windy Nook, Gateshead, with his friend Ivy Clark, 85, who was seriously injured.

Neither Eade or Webber have faced charges because each has claimed the other was driving.

In his letter to Ms Quin, MP for Gateshead East and Washington West, Lord Falconer, said: "In the absence of evidence as to who committed a crime it is not possible to convict both suspects.

"By doing so you would inevitably convict an innocent person as well as a guilty one.

"A balance must also be maintained between the desire to see the guilty convicted and the need to ensure that a defendant's proper interests are safeguarded and that everyone receives a fair trial.

"We have been looking at whether a change is needed to the criteria for deciding whether there is a case to answer in these circumstances, so that the defence presents its case.

"We are continuing to look at these issues with the help of others including the Law Commission.

"I assure you that we will continue to consider what more may be done to ensure that people cannot escape justice in these circumstances, but I do realise that this is little comfort to your constituents in this case."

Keith, said: "It's making a mockery of the law of the country - its the law that is allowing these two people to get away with killing my father.

"I will go down every avenue, every route I can to get something done. My sisters, my brother, friends, relatives - everyone has been doing their bit to get our voices heard.

"People are backing us 100 per cent. They are always asking how the petition is going and whether anything is being done to bring the men to court.

"When we take all these names to Tony Blair he can see, like any other reasonable person, that there is this loop hole and that he should close it. …

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