Interesting insight into Hutton’s past
From Paul Foot, writing in today’s Guardian:
“In August 1973, the Derry coroner, retired Major Hubert O’Neill, completed the inquest into the 13 unarmed people killed by the British army on Bloody Sunday. The jury returned an open verdict. Off the cuff, Major O’Neill described the killings as “sheer unadulterated murder”.
That was too much for the young barrister representing the Ministry of Defence. He lectured the coroner as follows: “It is not for you or the jury to express such wide-ranging views, particularly when a most eminent judge (Lord Chief Justice Widgery) has spent 20 days hearing evidence and come to a different conclusion.” The barrister’s name was Brian Hutton.
Whatever the outcome of the Saville inquiry, set up in 1998 to investigate the Bloody Sunday killings, everyone now accepts that the one-man Widgery tribunal was seriously flawed. So it follows that Brian Hutton quite early in his career was sticking up for one judicial whitewash and that, 30 years on, was playing the lead role in another one…”