This website relates to the Birmingham 1974 Inquests that are due to begin in February 2019. The purpose of this website is to provide information relating to the Inquests including transcripts of the proceedings and evidence that is produced during the hearings as well as any useful updates. These are the Inquests into the 21 people who died as a result of the explosions that took place in Birmingham city centre on Thursday, 21 November 1974.
A pre-inquest review hearing took place on Wednesday 31 October 2018 section at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre. A transcript of that hearing can be found here.
A further hearing is due to take place on Tuesday 18 December – also at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre. The Coroner has indicated that he would like the Inquests to begin in February 2019. The hearing scheduled for 23 November has been vacated and will no longer be taking place.
On Thursday, 21 November 1974, explosions occurred in two public houses in central Birmingham: the Mulberry Bush and the Tavern in the Town. 21 people were killed and over 200 were injured in the blasts.
Inquests were opened in November 1974 and subsequently adjourned to allow for a criminal investigation. The inquests were not resumed following the conclusion of those criminal proceedings.
On 1 June 2016 HM Senior Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull ruled that there was sufficient evidence for the adjourned inquests to be reopened.
His Honour Sir Peter Thornton QC is the nominated judge to oversee the Inquests. He was nominated, at the request of the Chief Coroner, by the Lord Chief Justice pursuant to paragraph 3, Schedule 10 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.
A number of pre inquest hearings have taken place. A judicial review into the scope of the inquests took place in December 2017 and a judgement was handed down in January 2018. This judicial review was subsequently challenged in the Court of Appeal where on 26th September it was effectively quashed. The scope of the Inquests remains the same. All documents relating to the judicial review and subsequent Court of Appeal process can be found here.