William Gerard Gorman

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

William Gorman was convicted of the murder of a police constable (approximately 5.5 years after the crime had occurred). He was interviewed 11 times and on the eighth interview, according to police testimony, he made a confession statement also naming his accomplice (McKinney). McKinny was interviewed nine times and was said to confess during the seventh interview. Later both men alleged assault had forced their confessions, but they were admitted by the judge. On appeal, electrostatic detection device evidence showed some re-writing of interview notes had been adduced to support the case that the Gorman and McInney confessed. This evidence challenged police evidence, and affected assessments of the police as reliable witnesses since the police had claimed that the notes were entirely contemporaneous. The case relied heavily on the credibility of the interviewing officers and because the evidence undermined their credibility the convictions were quashed.

View Press (justice.org.uk)

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  • Offence: Murder
  • Jurisdiction: Northern Ireland
  • County: Unknown 
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Gender: M
  • Years in prison: 19
  • Offence convicted of: Murder; belonging to a proscribed organisation; causing an explosion; possession of explosive substances, firearms & ammunition;
  • Year of crime: 1974
  • Year of initial conviction: 1979
  • Year conviction was overturned: 1999
  • Age when imprisoned: Unknown
  • CCRC Referral: Y
  • Tried with others: Y
  • Link to full case: Not available
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence casting doubt on the integrity of police, Evidence undermining the reliability of a confession
  • Compensation: Unknown
  • Crown argued case at CofA: Unknown
  • Retrial: Unknown
  • Previous appeals: Unknown