Ex-British soldier begins legal challenge against child murder charge

Daniel Hegarty, 15-years-old, was shot dead by a British soldier during Operation Motorman in 1972


A former soldier has begun a legal challenge against a decision to prosecute him for the murder of a teenage boy in Londonderry more than 47 years ago.

Daniel Hegarty, 15, was killed in an Army operation in Creggan in July 1972.

In April 2019, the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) announced the veteran, who cannot be identified, is to be charged with the teenager’s murder.

He also faces a charge of wounding the teenager’s cousin, Christopher Hegarty.

Lawyers for the Army veteran, known as Soldier B, are seeking to judicially review those decisions at the High Court in Belfast.

In 1972 there were a number of “no go areas” for the British army in Co Derry

Counsel for the ex-serviceman claimed that prosecutors failed to properly consider his health in reaching the decision to charge him over Daniel Hegarty’s killing.

The lawyer argued the decision to prosecute breaches his human rights.

Soldier B’s identity or whereabouts cannot be revealed due to reporting restrictions.

‘No-go areas’
The prohibition also prevents precise details of the legal arguments made on his behalf being disclosed.

In 2011, an inquest jury found Daniel Hegarty posed no risk and was shot without warning as the Army moved in to clear “no-go” areas during Operation Motorman.

A decision was taken not to prosecute Soldier B in 2016.

The High Court quashed that determination after legal action by the Hegarty family in May 2018.

The current director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland, Stephen Herron, carried out a review of the case before announcing charges are to be brought.

His decision is now being challenged by Soldier B on a number of grounds, including irrationality and an alleged failure to take proper account of the evidence.

The hearing continues.

With many thanks to: BBC NewsNI and Michael Fitzpatrick for the original story 

Follow these links to find out more: https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/50777834/operation-motorman-danny-hegarty-cain

(2)-: https://seachranaidhe1.blog/tag/daniel-hegarty-who-was-murdered-by-soldier-b/

(3)-: https://youtu.be/4LxGKle9oIA

Bloody Sunday: Court rejects MoD’s appeal against compensation

The Bloody Sunday murders happened during a civil rights marches on the streets of Co Derry Image copyrightPA MEDIA


A Ministry of Defence (MoD) appeal against a decision to award the family of a man killed on Bloody Sunday an extra payment of £15,000 has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Senior judges rejected claims that Bernard McGuigan’s relatives were not entitled to the aggravated damages for injury to his feelings.

The MoD argued against the payment because he died instantly.

Mr McGuigan was shot as he went to the aid of another man.

Thirteen people were killed and 15 wounded when members of the Army’s Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Derry on Sunday 30 January 1972.

On Thursday, judges backed a finding that Mr McGuigan, a father-of-six, would have experienced fear and dread when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire.

Bloody Sunday victims, top row (left to right): Patrick Doherty, Gerald Donaghey, John Duddy, Hugh Gilmour, Michael Kelly, Michael McDaid and Kevin McElhinney. Bottom row: Bernard McGuigan, Gérard McKinney, William McKinney, William Nash, James Wray and John Young

Lord Justice McCloskey said: “All of this conduct… was capable of generating in every person of normal mental fortitude in the area a reasonable apprehension of being shot or wounded.”

In 2010 the Saville Inquiry into the shootings established the innocence of all of the victims.

Those findings led to the then Prime Minister David Cameron issuing a public apology for the soldiers’ actions.

He described the killings as “unjustified and unjustifiable”.

Liability has been accepted by the MoD in legal actions taken against it by those bereaved or injured.

Court proceedings have centred on the level of damages in each case, with more than £3m in total paid out to date.

Thirteen people were murdered and 15 were wounded on Bloody Sunday

Mr McGuigan, known as Barney, was a painter and decorator.

He was shot at the Rossville Flats area as he went to the aid of 31-year-old Patrick Doherty, who was also shot dead on the day.

The 41-year-old had been waving a handkerchief or towel when he was hit by a bullet to the head, killing him instantly.

A claim by his estate was settled for £258,000.

A High Court judge then awarded a further £15,000 in aggravated damages.

He found that the soldier’s actions would have “filled the deceased with fear and dread, coupled with a strong sense of indignation and hurt at being the innocent victim of a blatant, unprovoked and unjust attack by members of the Army.”

Guildhall Square in Co Derry was packed for David Cameron’s apology on behalf of the British State in 2010 Image copyrightPACEMAKER

The MoD went to the Court of Appeal to challenge the additional award, claiming it was wrong in law because Mr McGuigan’s death was instantaneous.

But counsel for his family insisted the payout was justified by the terror he experienced during the shootings.

Mr McGuigan had been sheltering behind a wall when he went out to try to offer help, clearly aware he was put himself in danger, the court heard.

“That’s why he was waving the piece of towel as he went out,” the family’s barrister submitted.

Ruling on the appeal, Lord Justice McCloskey described the MoD’s case as unsustainable and affirmed the £15,000 compensation for aggravated damages.

He also made an award of costs of the hearing against the MoD.

With many thanks to: BBC NewsNI for the original story 

Follow these links to find out more: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/ex-soldier-doug-beattie-says-mod-bid-to-withhold-money-from-family-of-bloody-sunday-victim-wrong-38935472.html

(2)-: http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//news/northernirelandnews/2020/02/07/news/mod-loses-appeal-against-extra-compensation-awarded-to-bloody-sunday-victim-1835833/content.html

(3)-: https://www.derryjournal.com/news/people/mod-lose-appeal-against-sunday-compensation-1-9226364

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