The Shrewsbury 24 Campaign is delighted to announce that after 15 years we have finally achieved victory. The Court of Appeal has today quashed the convictions of the North Wales building workers who were tried for picketing offences in 1973-74. The lead picket, Des Warren was sent to prison for three years and blacklisted upon his release. As a result, he never worked again and died prematurely in 2004, aged 67.
Two of the other twelve pickets represented by the Campaign had also been imprisoned: John McKinsie Jones for 9 months and Michael Pierce for 6 months. The other pickets received suspended prison sentences.
Terry Renshaw, a member of the Campaign since its inception and who received a suspended sentence, spoke for all the pickets,
“We never thought that we would see this day, when this miscarriage of justice was overturned. The Court of Appeal has acknowledged that we did not receive a fair trial. The police and the prosecuting authorities used every trick in the book to secure guilty verdicts even if it meant trampling over our rights and manipulating the evidence.
On behalf of all the pickets I would like to pay tribute to the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign, without whom we would never have achieved this victory. In particular we owe a great debt to our Researcher, Eileen Turnbull, for working tirelessly to obtain the crucial evidence that got our case to the Court of Appeal and brought about our victory.”
Harry Chadwick, the Chairperson and founding member of the Campaign, was equally overjoyed.
We have overcome tremendous obstacles to reach this day. We could not have done it without the support of the TUC, the trade union and labour movement. This is an historic victory for all working people.
The Campaign’s Researcher and Secretary, Eileen Turnbull, paid tribute to the eight pickets who stood firm,
I am particularly happy for the eight pickets who stood with the Campaign, through all the tough times: John McKinsie Jones, Malcom Clee, Michael Pierce, Terry Renshaw, Kevin Butcher, Bernard Williams and the families of the late Des Warren and Ken O’Shea. Their tenacity and belief in our case was an inspiration. Their quest for justice for all the pickets never waned.
Eileen Turnbull Harry Chadwick
Secretary & Researcher Chairperson