Ricky Tomlinson remains 'angry' after having his name cleared
- Bang Showbiz
- 24 March 2021
Veteran actor Ricky Tomlinson has been cleared of picketing nearly 50 years ago, but has now said he believes he was the victim of a "conspiracy"
Ricky Tomlinson remains "angry" at the establishment, despite having his name cleared by a court.
The 81-year-old actor was part of the so-called Shrewsbury 24 – a group of trade unionists who challenged their convictions for picketing nearly 50 years ago – and even though his name has now finally been cleared at the Court of Appeal, Ricky remains bitter about the situation.
He explained: "I lost my home, I lost my wife who was 4’ 11’ and battered in the face twice by scabs. I lost my job and then when I was falsely imprisoned, I lost my freedom.
"Dessie Warren, who was wrongly jailed with me, lost his life after he was treated terribly in prison and died after he was released, a strapping steel fixer reduced to a scarecrow. The other lads all suffered lots of problems too as a result of the injustices done to us, struggling to get work and blacklisted.
"So do I feel jubilant after all these years? Do I feel made up? Do I feel this is compensation for the four weeks I was on hunger strike, not eating a bean? Do I think it’s good after the nude protests, for the hours we were forced to sit on wooden chairs in soaking wet cells hosed down? For the 14 jails over 18 months I was moved around?
"No I bloody don’t. I’m absolutely angry, angry that they have done this for the establishment."
Ricky – who worked on various building sites for many years before turning to acting – was charged with "conspiracy to intimidate" after a building workers' dispute in Shrewsbury in 1972.
He was subsequently sentenced to two years in prison, and despite having his name cleared, Ricky is determined to unearth the truth about the "conspiracy".
In a piece for the Daily Mirror newspaper, he wrote: "Because by admitting a little mistake they can say nearly 50 years later they put it right, did the right thing.
"What was done to us was a much bigger conspiracy and we believe it went straight to the top, that Ted Heath, who was the Prime Minister then, was involved.
"I’ll speak to my legal team who are fantastic about what we do next but I still want to see a public inquiry so we can get all of this into the open, to see the collusion between the politicians and the police to teach us a lesson."