This week 60 years ago: IRA bomb scare at Holloway Road university

Islington Gazette: February 21, 1958

Islington Gazette: February 21, 1958 - Credit: Archant

Holloway Road’s Northern Polytechnic – now London Metropolitan University – had to be evacuated because of an IRA bomb scare.

Police were called following a message that a bomb had been planted.

It turned out the call was a hoax, but police guards were stationed on all entrances as a precaution.

Meanwhile, a Holloway killer was involved in one of the first court cases to make allowances for “diminished responsibility”.

Phillip Maguire, 47, of Durham Road, strangled his girlfried to death in their bed.

He was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter after his defence pursued a diminished responsbility case. Maguire had been certified as of “unsound mind”.

The dispatch clerk was jailed for 10 years at the Old Bailey. Passing sentence, Justice Streatfield told him: “You must realise that in spite of the fact Parliament has introduced this doctrine of diminished responsibility, there still remains a heavy responsibilty upon a person who takes a human life.”