Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Family Say Planted Gun Sealed His Fate

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Family Say Planted Gun Sealed His Fate

Article excerpt

THOMAS Bourke's family are convinced that the smuggling of a gun into Strangeways as his trial was coming to end sealed his fate.

On Thursday, November 30, and Friday, December 1, 1994, the prosecution and the defence finished their summing up. Judge Mr Justice Sachs said he would start summing up on the Monday. But over the weekend, an informant told authorities a gun had been smuggled into Strangeways.

Bourke's sister, Jo Holt, said: "They were told that it was to help my brother escape if he was found guilty."

By the time Bourke was brought back to Manchester Crown Court, there was a police helicopter hovering above and marksmen on the roof.

News of a lockdown at the prison was all over the news. Mrs Holt said: "I'm convinced the jury must have been influenced and considered Thomas to be a very dangerous man. …

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