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Birmingham pub bombings: 'I drove my sister to her death' Birmingham pub bombings: 'I drove my sister to her death'
(7 days later)
The brother of a Birmingham pub bombings victim felt he had "driven my sister to her death" by giving her a lift to the city on the night she died.The brother of a Birmingham pub bombings victim felt he had "driven my sister to her death" by giving her a lift to the city on the night she died.
Brian Hambleton, whose sister Maxine was among 21 killed in the 1974 blasts, recalled his final memory of her as inquests into the atrocity resumed.Brian Hambleton, whose sister Maxine was among 21 killed in the 1974 blasts, recalled his final memory of her as inquests into the atrocity resumed.
His was one of a number of emotional "pen portrait" tributes read at the outset of the new hearings.His was one of a number of emotional "pen portrait" tributes read at the outset of the new hearings.
Family members said the dead were "cruelly robbed" of their lives.Family members said the dead were "cruelly robbed" of their lives.
Two bombs ripped through the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs on 21 November, killing 21 and injuring 182. Two bombs ripped through the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs on 21 November, killing 21 and injuring 220.
Mr Hambleton told the hearing at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre he had driven 18-year-old Maxine into the city in return for her ironing his shirt.Mr Hambleton told the hearing at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre he had driven 18-year-old Maxine into the city in return for her ironing his shirt.
He said: "I will always remember her closing the car door and walking away from me, waving at me. My joyful, carefree, upbeat, talented sister I would never see again."He said: "I will always remember her closing the car door and walking away from me, waving at me. My joyful, carefree, upbeat, talented sister I would never see again."
"I had literally driven my sister to her death," he said."I had literally driven my sister to her death," he said.
Jurors also heard one of the victims, Michael Beasley, gave away a "lucky charm" to the wife of the Mulberry Bush's landlord that night.Jurors also heard one of the victims, Michael Beasley, gave away a "lucky charm" to the wife of the Mulberry Bush's landlord that night.
"He told her he'd found a lucky Cornish pixie charm on the bus on the way to town that night and gave the charm to her," said Peter Skelton QC, for the coroner."He told her he'd found a lucky Cornish pixie charm on the bus on the way to town that night and gave the charm to her," said Peter Skelton QC, for the coroner.
"Mary kept the charm and always carried it with her.""Mary kept the charm and always carried it with her."
The inquest heard statements about 16 victims on Tuesday, including:The inquest heard statements about 16 victims on Tuesday, including:
The remaining statements are due to be heard on Wednesday.The remaining statements are due to be heard on Wednesday.
Amendment 14 March 2019: This story has been updated to reflect the most recent information that 220 people were injured in the blasts.