Lord Bridge of Harwich, the judge at the trial of the Birmingham Six who later conducted several inquiries into notable government security breaches, has died aged 90.
In 1975, the fate of the six men who were to be convicted of the 1974 IRA pub bombings was effectively sealed from the moment he dismissed their claims that their confessions had been gained by police beating.
Regardless of substantial evidence to suggest they were forced, Sir Nigel Bridge told the jury their claims were "simply not credible".
This was followed by his declaration that there had been "the clearest and most overwhelming evidence I have ever heard in a case of murder", following the jury's guilty verdict.
The Birmingham Six spent 16 years in prison before their convictions were quashed in 1991, with the appeal judge making it clear no criticism was directed at the way in which Judge Bridge handled the original trial.
A year later, he was interviewed on television and said he felt "unhappy, but not guilty" about his part in one of the country's most notorious miscarriages of justice.
While accepting the judiciary must bear "a share of responsibility" for the legal system's failures, he suggested that "it's easy to be wise after the event. The important question is: How do we prevent it happening in the future?"
That same year, he retired.
Born in 1917, Nigel Cyprian Bridge's parents were a naval officer and the daughter of a wealthy Lancashire cotton manufacturer. They separated shortly after his birth and Lord Bridge never met his father. He was educated with his brother Anthony at Marlborough College, where he was awarded a scholarship.
At the age of 17, he left school and travelled to Europe, where he became fluent in French and German. On his return to England, he volunteered for the Fleet Air Arm only to be rejected as colour blind. In 1940, he was called up and spent a year in the ranks before receiving a commission in the King's Royal Rifle Corps.
He went on to serve in Italy, north west Europe and Germany and was demobilised in 1946, having married in 1944.
A year later, he was called to the Bar by Inner Temple, in spite of a not having a university education. He practised from chambers at 3 Temple Gardens and specialised in town and country planning and local government.
From 1964 to 1968, he served as Junior Treasury Counsel and was later appointed a judge of the High Court in the Queen's Bench Division. In 1975, he was promoted to the Court of Appeal, and sworn of the Privy Council that year.
This was followed by his appointment as Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in 1980, the only Lord of Appeal at the time without a degree.
Upon Lord Denning's retirement in 1982, Judge Bridge was considered for the post of Master of the Rolls. However, Sir John Donaldson was selected instead.
That same year, he was appointed chairman of the Security Commission.
In 1987, he showed his independent streak over the Spycatcher case, by disagreeing with Britain's senior judges. Judge Bridge said attempts by the Government to stop newspapers publishing extracts from Peter Wright's book were a "significant step down the very dangerous road to censorship - the indispensable tool of totalitarianism".
He said that as long as the allegations had remained unpublished, he would have supported any legal action to keep them secret, but poured scorn on arguments for continued suppression of information already available to large sections of the public.
A year after his retirement, he was awarded an Open University BSc in Mathematics, and from 1993 to 1997, he was chairman of the Church of England Synodical Government Review. He is survived by his wife and their two daughters and one son.