Irishman charged with 1982 Hyde Park bombing granted bail by Old Bailey judge

John Downey detained at Gatwick Airport in May

 Dead horses covered up and wrecked cars at the scene  in Rotten Row, Hyde Park, after an IRA bomb exploded as the Household Cavalry was passing. Photograph: PA News/PA Wire

Dead horses covered up and wrecked cars at the scene in Rotten Row, Hyde Park, after an IRA bomb exploded as the Household Cavalry was passing. Photograph: PA News/PA Wire

Fri, Aug 2, 2013, 01:00

Sinn Féin member John Downey, who is accused of killing four British army soldiers in the IRA’s 1982 Hyde Park bombing, has been granted bail by a London court, following a two-month delay to the start of his trial.

The Donegal man, whose arrest has infuriated leading Sinn Féin figures and created tensions between them and unionists in Northern Ireland, was detained at Gatwick Airport in May en route to a holiday in Greece.

His trial had been scheduled to begin in November, but has now been put back until January, Mr Justice Sweeney was told at the Old Bailey yesterday. He granted Mr Downey bail on condition that he lives at a friend’s house in north London.

A £15,000 security has been lodged, along with sureties to the value of £55,000 from six people, while Mr Downey has given up his passport, will be subject to a 7pm to 7am curfew and will have to report daily to a police station.

He has been held in the top-security Belmarsh prison since his arrest in May in connection with the Hyde Park attack, which killed four people, injured 50 and left seven military horses dead.

He will appear in court again in early September for a case management hearing.