Mary Druhan

Years in prison:
Year of crime:
Year conviction was overturned:

Mary Druhan was convicted of two counts of murder by arson. At the relevant time Druhan was part of a group of alcoholic vagrants including the two victims of the arson (Richard Duddy and Kenneth Roberts), Joe Neary and Bob Smith. One of the victims and Druhan had for some years had a very close relationship, but he had since fallen for another woman. On the day of the fire, Druhan had been drinking with Roberts and Smith. Evidence about the events of the evening was presented from multiple witnesses. One important witness was Fludgate who testified that he heard Druhan say “I’m going to kill you”to Roberts on at least two occasions and saw Druhan hit Roberts in the pub. This evidence was important since it suggested Druhan had a motive for wanting to kill Roberts. On appeal, it was demonstrated that the Crown had not disclosed evidence that Fludgate had a criminal record and a history of drug addiction and treatment. The court noted that Druhan’s counsel would have likely used this to discredit Fludgate. The court noted that this would put a different complexion on what transpired in the pub and what must have appeared a “clear thread” leading the suspect and contradictory evidence of others to be weighed more heavily. On this basis, the court allowed the appeal and quashed the conviction.

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  • Offence: Murder
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: Berkshire 
  • Ethnicity: Unknown
  • Gender: F
  • Years in prison: 10
  • Offence convicted of: Double murder
  • Year of crime: 1988
  • Year of initial conviction: 1989
  • Year conviction was overturned: 1999
  • Age when imprisoned: 54
  • CCRC Referral: Y
  • Tried with others: N
  • Link to full case:
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence relating to the reliability of witness testimony
  • Compensation: Unknown
  • Crown argued case at CofA: Yes
  • Retrial: No
  • Previous appeals: Unsuccessful appeal in 1990