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An article by Sunday World journalist Jim Campbell dated 8/1/2006.

Judged To Have Got It Wrong

Lord Chief Justice Kerr recently wrote to John Dallat of the SDLP suggesting that in future before he comment on sentences handed down in courts he should contact his office.

For Justice Kerr said that when politicians criticised the judiciary they didn't have all the legal facts which are available to judges when they hand down sentences.
But the murder in Glasgow this week of Lindsay Robb (38) illustrates how even distinguished members of the judiciary like Justice Kerr can get things wrong.


Subsequently Robb admitted that RUC Special Branch detectives got him to lie in court because they wanted a murder conviction against Lurgan republican Colin Duffy charged with killiing.
The Special branch got its conviction although it was overturned on appeal.
And Justice Kerr was left with legal egg on his face for all the nice things he'd said about Robb as a witness.
Within a few months of the Duffy trial Robb was convicted of loyalist gun-running and while serving a 10-year jail sentence defected from the UVF to the more hardline LVF.
And when he got out of jail he became a major LVF drug dealer in Mid Ulster and Scotland.
Talk about the judiciary getting it wrong.
It's nearly as bad as the gun and bomb attack at the Rock Bar near Keady, Co. Armagh in 1976 which was highlighted by Chris Thornton in the Belfast Telegraph this week.
Then, Lord Chief Justice Lowry let three of the police officers involved off with suspended sentences because he said they might have thought they were bombing the pub for the right motives.