The IRA Murder of Young Mum Margaret Ann Hearst – The Irish Peace Process

https://irishpeaceprocess.blog/2021/04/21/the-ira-murder-of-young-mum-margaret-ann-hearst/

People cleared of sex crimes could get lifetime anonymity

I completely disagree that suspected rapists should get lifetime anonymity. The jury is not always 100% correct.

PEOPLE accused of sex offences in the Republic of Ireland could be granted lifetime anonymity if not convicted, under proposals contained in a review carried out after the high-profile rugby rape case trial.

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Barrister Tom O’Malley chaired the review after the 2018 Belfast trial of Ireland internationals Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding led to demands on both sides of the border for changes the way the judicial systems handle such cases. Jackson was acquitted of rape and sexual assault while fellow Ulster player Olding was cleared of rape. Two other men were also acquitted in connection with the case. In the south, only those accused of rape are granted anonymity, but among 50 recommendations is the extension to people accused of sexual assault. It also calls for an update of legislation used to prosecute people for revealing complainant’s identity in the media to include social media.

Funny how MI5 keep missing serial Pedophiles and Satanists when they do their thorough background checks on people honoured by the Queen…Funny that

If adopted it would see the establishment of preliminary trial hearings “as soon as possible” to deal with legal issues and reduce delays in the judicial system. The accused’s defence team would also have to make it clear at that stage they plan to question a complaint about his or her previous sexual experience. It recommends that any statutory restriction on this questioning strike a balance between respecting rights to personal privacy and human dignity and ensuring a fair trial for the accused. The review warns that an outright ban would be unacceptable as it would (could) create the risk of an occasional miscarriage of justice, suggesting instead a formal code of practice to govern the collection and disclosure of a complainant’s text messages, social media and internet usage.

The working group also recommends a government-sponsored public education programme on the meaning and importance of consent in sexual relationships and activity and a website with comprehensive information for victims of sexual crime set up and regularly promoted.

“[It] is a clear recognition from government that it is not appropriate to treat crimes of sexual violence just like any other crime” Noeline Blackwell

It would include information on sexual offences, the trial process, availability of legal advice, counselling, therapy and other help. In addition, the group recommends training for all gardaí in front-line policing on dealing with sexual crime complaints and with other witnesses, including suspects vulnerable because of age or disability. Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) chief executive Noeline Blackwell said the reforms would “greatly improve” the process for victims and “is a clear recognition from government that it is not appropriate to treat crimes of sexual violence just like any any other crime”. The Council of The Bar Of Ireland warned the provision of adequate resources and funding is “critical” to make the changes. Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said if victims come forward “they will be listened to… heard… treated with respect and dignity, and… supported through what is a very difficult process”. A “clear implementation” plan will be in place in 10 weeks.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Bimpe Archer for the original story –b.archer@irishnews.com

Driver doused in petrol during Derry hijacking as city suffers third night of violence

Police come under attack in Derry in a third day of violence in the city
A driver was doused in petrol by a group of men who hijacked his recovery lorry before setting it alight in Derry last night as the city suffered a third night of violence. 

In another incident a masked gang of up to 20 people, some armed with metal bars, tried unsuccessfully to hijack a man’s car.

There were further hijackings and attempted hijackings in the city last night, after similar incidents in recent days.

The fifth anniversary of the introduction of internment on 9th August 1971 was marked with disturbances and the hijacking and burning of vehicles. This picture was taken on the Falls Road, Belfast, N Ireland. 197608090356b
Copyright Image from Victor Patterson, 54 Dorchester Park, Belfast, United Kingdom, UK.
For my Terms and Conditions of Use go to http://www.victorpatterson.com/Victor_Patterson/Terms_%26_Conditions.html

Youths threw petrol bombs, paint bombs and other missiles at police in two separate locations as officers responded to a hoax security alert on Skeoge Road and later to the hijacking of the recovery lorry near Galliagh roundabout. Police said around 150 young people had gathered close to the roundabout and officers were attacked.

Two to three men stopped the recovery vehicle and one of them poured fuel inside the lorry “covering the driver”.

 

“Both males managed to escape from the vehicle in what was a terrifying ordeal for them and get to safety before the truck was set alight.

“NIFRS and police attended the scene where a crowd of around 150 people had gathered. Some of those who had gathered threw missiles, including stones and bottles, at officers. A petrol bomb was also thrown but failed to ignite.

“As this was taking place, police received a report of an attempted hijacking in Galliagh Park where a woman was stopped by a young masked male who tried to take her vehicle – a black Kia – using a wheelbrace. The woman managed to flee to safety. Damage was caused to the car door, and the woman was understandably left shaken.”

Police said the third incident took place at around 12:40am today when a van was hijacked and set alight in Fergleen Park.

Another attempted hijacking was reported just after 2am when up to 20 masked people, some armed with metal bars, tried unsuccessfully to hijack a man’s car on Fairview Road

A number of vehicles were also hijacked in the city on Tuesday August 4.

Derry and Strabane District Commander Chief Superintendent Emma Bond said the violence was “not representative of this city” and was taking place against the backdrop of the death and funeral of former SDLP and civil rights leader John Hume.

She said police had gathered evidence with a view to making arrests and asked community and elected representatives to continue using their influence.

“This has been the third night of disorder in our city at the hands of cowards determined to cause disruption in our communities.  It is unacceptable and I am very disappointed people made a deliberate decision to go out onto the streets and cause trouble,” CS Bond said.

“Yesterday, the world’s media was focused on the city as John Hume was laid to rest. The scenes in our communities last night are not representative of this city.

“I want to stress the disorder we have seen on our streets over the past few nights has been caused by a minority of people who have absolutely no regard for our communities being impacted, and the people who live here.”

CS Bond had a message for onlookers.

“I would also urge anyone, including those who gathered to watch this disorder last night to understand this is not entertainment. This is dangerous, reckless activity, which has a significant impact on not only the people whose vehicles were targeted, but also on the local communities.”

She thanked community and elected representatives who had been on the ground last night and asked them to continue to use their influence “to help us maintain control of the situation so we don’t have another night of disorder and our communities don’t come under attack again”.

“We have gathered evidence in relation to these incidents and are working to identify those responsible and those involved and we can assure the public we will be working towards making arrests,” she added.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Maeve Connolly for the original story 

Motion opposing extradition of man liable for Omagh attack expected to fall

A MOTION opposing the extradition of a man held liable for the Omagh bomb is expected to fall tonight when local councillors are asked to ratify it.

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Relatives of victims of the 1998 Real IRA reacted angrily earlier this month when Sinn Féin, SDLP and some independent representatives on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council backed the proposal by independent Bernice Swift, is to write to the taoiseach voicing concerns about Liam Campbell’s extradition to Lithuania. Campbell (58), who was found liable in a civil (not criminal) court for the Omagh attack along with three other men in 2009 (now is 2020 11 years later), was arrested in Upper Faughart, Dundalk in December 2016 on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by Lithuanian authorities. He is alleged to have organised smuggling of weapons for the Real IRA between the end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007.

Follow this link to find out more: https://m.facebook.com/RepublicanSinnFeinTipperary/photos/a.1586510428227239/2625041671040771/?type=3&source=48

The High Court in Dublin ordered Campbell’s extradition following a lengthy legal battle, with a judge concluding there was no evidence he would be subjected to inhuman and degrading prison conditions. However, at a July 8th meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s policy and resources committee, a majority of councillors voted to record their opposition to the extradition in a letter to Michéal Martin, on the grounds that Campbell’s human rights would be breached by poor prison conditions in the Baltic state. Within 24 hours of the meeting the SDLP group leader on the council apologised, saying it was “wrong” to support the motion and it would be opposed when it came before the full council for ratification.

Omagh bombing carried out by the RIRA

Sinn Féin said it supported the motion on the basis that its “council group was of the view that the human rights concerns raised merited discussion by the full council”. It added that it “will ensure that the concerns and needs of the victims of the Omagh bombing are also reflected in that debate”. The party said last night that it has tabled an amendment to the motion “highlighting our concerns about the human rights of Liam Campbell”. The amendment also reiterates our utter condemnation of the Omagh bombing, our support for the victims and their families and our resolve to see those responsible being held accountable in a judicial and legal process.”

Follow this link to find out more: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3239232142823204&id=100002093504519&set=a.439170419496071&source=48

DUP group leader Errol Thompson described the motion as “disgraceful and a total insult to the innocent victims of the Omagh bomb”. He said the party has also lodged a complaint to the Local Government Standards Commissioner in relation to Ms Swift and the chair of the policy and resources committee, Sinn Féin’s Stephen McCann. Claire Monteith, whose brother Alan Radford was killed in the blast, has also reported Ms Swift and Mr McCann to the local government Ombudsman. The Ulster Unionists have also tabled a counter motion tonight expressing solidarity with the victims of the bomb, in which 29 people including a woman pregnant with twins, were killed. It says the publicity surrounding the proposal to write to the taoiseach has “caused further pain and anguish anguish amongst the victims and their relatives”.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and John Manley Political Correspondent – j.manley@irishnews.com

North Belfast MP urges police: Be accurate on Noah

The PSNI/RUC have serious questions that need answered over the suspicious death of Noah Donohoe 

Noah Donohoe 14, who was found dead under suspicious circumstances six days after he went missing in North Belfast

AN MP has called on police to be “accurate in their information” after the PSNI/RUC contradicted what it had told the family of Noah Donohoe.

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John Finucane was speaking after The Irish News revealed that the 14-year-old, who went missing on June 21st, had drowned. Noah had not suffered a serious head injury, despite a theory put forward by the PSNI/RUC that he may have suffered concussion after a fall, causing him to remove his clothing. Noah’s body was found in a storm drain six days after he disappeared. The family were told by police this week that a leaflet drop had taken place in the area Noah was last seen to appeal for information.

Mount Vernon UVF 3rd Battalion North Belfast

The Irish News asked the PSNI for a copy of the leaflet and details of when door to door enquiries had taken place. A PSNI/RUC spokesperson said: “Police have not conducted a leaflet drop at this stage”. However, in a statement last night, police suggested that the leaflet confusion may have been a “misunderstanding.”

North Belfast MP John Finucane

Superintendent Muir Clarke said: “First and foremost my thoughts and those of my officers go out to Noah’s mother, Fiona, and the wider family circle at this extremely difficult time. “Police continue to investigate the tragic death of Noah on behalf of the coroner. “As is normal practice the coroner is the only person who can authorise the release of information in relation to the circumstances surrounding Noah’s death. “To support the current stage of the inquiry, Police are finalising a leaflet appealing for information, which we will distribute to households where the occupants were unavailable to speak to police during the initial stages when Noah disappeared. “We anticipate doing this in the following days.

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“We are aware of media reports stating that the family had been told this proposed leaflet drop had already been undertaken. This is not the case. “This may have arisen through a misunderstanding. Family liaison officers are continuing to work closely with the family and the coroner. “While respecting that this is a very painful time, police are in contact with Noah’s mother to ensure that she is up to date on the investigation.”

“The wider community needs to have confidence that everything that can be done is being done”  John Finucane 

Noah’s mobile phone was found in the early days of the investigation, but police had made a specific appeal for help in locating his green backpack. It contained his Lenovo laptop and was recovered several days later. Police said it was recovered following information from a member of the public. Police said it was recovered following information from a member of the public. The family were told that it was to be examined by forensic experts but have not been given any details since, nor have they been given any further details about the recovery. The family also revealed that Noah was travelling to Cave Hill country park to meet friends on the day of his disappearance, to do work towards a Duke of Edinburgh award.

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It is thought he may have taken a wrong turn from his home in South Belfast on his way to Cave Hill and ended up in North Queen Street, Shore Road area instead. Police were aware of this but did not tell the press or the public this during the search for Noah, leading to online speculation about where he was going on the day of his disappearance that caused distress to the family. Police also have Noah’s phone and laptop and the family are keen to have these returned to them, but have not yet been told if the PSNI/RUC have examined the GPS on the phone. The distressed family have instructed solicitor Niall Murphy of KRW Law and Relatives for Justice to help them get answers to a number of unanswered questions. “I support and reiterate the calls by the Donohoe family for information concerning Noah’s disappearance,” Mr Finucane said. “Fiona and her family have my full support as they seek answers to the many questions which remain. “Police need to be accurate in the information they provide publicly and privately to the family, and the wider community needs to have confidence that everything that can be done is being done.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Allison Morris SECURITY CORRESPONDENT a.morris@irishnews.com

Follow this link to find out more about Superintendent Muir Clarke: https://twitter.com/One_Shot_Paddy/status/1284492317991284738

‘Less just’ non-jury trials not for England, Wales but we’re another story

OPINION 

Colin Duffy (52)

 

 

 

A ROW has broken out in England after a former judge suggested using non-jury trials to relieve a backlog in the judicial system.

Diplock Court’s – non-jury trials

His honour Michael Heath suggested that suspending trial by jury on a temporary basis could help alleviate the problem. Mr Heath said that while jury trials are “the cornerstone of our criminal justice system will implode”. However, while Covid has contributed to the backlog of cases in England and Wales it is certainly not completely responsible. I say England and Wales because that was the jurisdiction that Mr Heath was talking about when he made his ‘radical’ suggestion. His comments drew criticism from a number of quarters. Among them the Secret Barrister, an online cover name for a serving QC responsible for a best selling book about the workings, and at times shambolic, nature of the judicial system (His/her book is very good, I highly recommend it). The Secret Barrister argued that while the backlog of cases is unacceptable, “tearing up the right to jury trial, and replacing it with trial by a single judge and two magistrates” was not the answer. “It would be a disaster. Make no mistake.

Laganside Court House in Belfast

“Whatever the arguments for and against jury trial, it is beyond dispute that trial by a single judge and two magistrates is a lesser form of Justice” the Secret Barrister added. There was a flurry of comments agreeing with the online expert about this proposed perversion of justice. Meanwhile in the North of Ireland we’ve had non-jury trials since 1973, and they remain in place 22 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. The government technically abolished the old Diplock Courts in 2007. However, it give the Director of Public Prosecutions power to decide when cases should be tried without a jury, particularly if there was a chance of jurors being intimidated. That has to be reviewed every two years with it next under consideration in April 2021. And so if the argument is that dispensing with a jury speeds up the process, then the state of the North of Ireland’s judicial system would suggest that is simply not the case, not the sase 

European Court of Justice

The trial of Colin Duffy (52) and his co-defdants Alex McCory (58) and 51-year-old Harry Fitzsimons is still ongoing in a Diplock Court in Belfast. The three men were arrested after an attack on a police patrol in north Belfast in December 2013.

Alex McCrory (58)
Henry Fitzsimons (51)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is now June 2020, any verdict in that trial is likely to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the gun attack the three men deny taking part in. And so the removal of a jury is certainly not the magic wand to speedy justice, not in the North of Ireland anyway. The underfunding of the legal system over many years has placed enormous stress on the system. But it goes deeper than that as anyone that has ever worked in a court in the North will tell you. The wheels of justice turn painfully slow in this part of the world.

Belfast High (Crown) Court

There are plans under way to try and rectify that, to do away with committal hearings in serious cases that spend months bouncing around a Magistrates Court before being sent to the Crown where they were destined for anyway. A consultation is to be carried out to consider a strategic approach to restorative practices for adults in the criminal justice system.

Laganside Courts

Diversionary orders could be used to deal with less serious cases where there is no risk to the public. But all of this takes time, requires proper funding and a buy-in from all involved agencies. In the interim, victims often drop out of cases or are put through further truma having to live with the anxious anticipation of giving evidence for months, even years – a completely unacceptable situation. A decision on returning to the use of juries for serious or paramilitary trails remains years away. Will we once again have the extension of a ‘lesser form of Justice’ here in the North of Ireland, where there are frequent reminders that despite the words of Margaret Thatcher, when it comes to equality under law we are definitely not “as British as Finchley”.

AWith many thanks to the: Irish News and Allison Morris Security Correspondent  for the original story 

Follow these links to find out more: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/courts/alleged-recordings-of-republicans-compared-in-belfast-police-murder-bid-trial-38947538.html

(2)-: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/terror-trial-second-voice-analyst-links-recording-of-police-murder-bid-to-alleged-dissidents-38968712.html

 

Former UVF man regrets loss of life in deathbed interview

Progressive Unionist Party (PUP)

PUP man Ken Wilkinson pictured with memorabilia including an AK47 assault rifle which went under the hammer at a Belfast auction. Pic McCann
FORMER UVF member Ken Wilkinson has said he regrets that”anyone lost their lives”as a result of the conflict,but added that he is not sorry for joining the loyalist paramilitary group. 
 
Mr Wilkinson is currently in the final stages of a terminal lung condition. Speaking to the News Letter, he said that UVF membership had made him a “wiser” man. The Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) is the political wing of the modern day UVF. Aged 72, he was a Progressive Unionist Party spokesman since the mid-80s but was never elected. A supporter of the peace process he was involved in the early stages of the negotiations with other members of the UVF and republicans. In recent years his South Antrim home was attacked after he spoke out against drug dealers and criminals within his own community.
Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
 
With just weeks left to live he remains the UVF’s welfare officer for the handful of remaining loyalist prisoners held in Maghaberry Gaol. Speaking about his membership of the illegal organisation Mr Wilkinson said: “I’m on my last days. And there’s no sense in denying anything now.” While saying he had never killed anyone, he still would not comment on his past involvement in shootings and bombings, saying he wanted to protect his family. “I have my own family to think about too. You know, none of my family have never been connected with anything. Every one of them has come up good… worked very hard all their lives. And I don’t want to put them in jeopardy.”
HMP Maghaberry Gaol
 
Mr Wilkinson said during the loyalist ceasefires that those involved in the negotiations “took a lot of flak from certain people within loyalism. Adding that they said they were called traitors, “sell-out merchants, because we were sitting down. But you have to make a move if you need peace. “No matter what anyone says, if it hadn’t been for the PUP or the UPRG, there wouldn’t have been a peace process. “The way I looked at it, whenever I saw some of the atrocities that the IRA was committing, that really sickened me. “Whenever I saw Kingsmills and things like that there, people have to really admit that the UVF were more-or-less a reactionary force… They retaliated, same as the UFF, though I can’t speak for them. “I’m sorry that anyone lost their lives. It is really a pity that anyone had to have lost their lives.”
 
With many thanks to: The Irish News and Allison Morris SECURITY CORRESPONDENT – a.morris@irishnews.com

 

‘No good reason’ not to reveal contentents of files on plastic bullet deaths

A SUGGESTION that the families of two young teenagers murdered by plastic bullets in 1981 (the year the 10 men died on hunger-strike) including Bobby Sands. 

Irish children murdered by British Crown Forces in the occupied six Counties of the North of Ireland

Should use the Freedom of Information (FoI) request to access files on their deaths has been dismissed as “unacceptable”. SDLP leader Colum Eastwood raised the cases of Paul Whitters (15) and Julie Livingstone (14) with Secretary of State Brandon Lewis in the House of Commons yesterday. Paul Whitters was murdered in Derry in April 1981 while Julie Livingstone, was murdered in Belfast the following month. 

Collusion is not an illusion!!!

Government files relating to their killings have been reclassified and closed until 2059 and 2064 respectively despite appeals by their families for access. The family of Julie Livingstone said the decision that no-one who knew the teenager personally would be alive when the file was opened. At Secretary of State’s questions yesterday, Mr Eastwood told Mr Lewis there was “no good reason” to keep the files closed and asked: “Will he now act to allow the parents of those children to see the files?” Mr Lewis said he had “enormous” sympathy for families of those who died during the Troubles, especially children. He said the next step for the families should be to submit a Freedom of Information request to the National Archive. However, Sarah Duddy of the Pat Finucane Centre said Mr Lewis’s suggestion had been dismissed by the families in the past.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Seamus McKinney for the original story 

 

Dissident Republican Fernando Murphy sentenced to 14 months for stalking ex-partner Irish News journalist Allison Morris

 

An Irish News journalist has revealed that she was harassed by her former partner for four years.

Speaking to BBC Radio Foyle, Allison Morris called for stalking legislation to be extended to Northern Ireland.

It comes days after Fernando Murphy, of Balholm Drive, in Belfast, was jailed for 10 offences, including harassment and breaching a restraining order.

“I was full of anxiety, my hair was falling out with stress,” the security correspondent said about her ordeal.

Murphy, 42, was handed a 14-month sentence at Belfast Magistrates’ Court last Thursday. He will spend half his sentence in prison and the other half on licence.

During four years of abuse, Ms Morris was subjected to “humiliating” behaviour, including Murphy coming to the Irish News and “shouting and screaming”.

It was when the harassment began to impact her family that the journalist decided to act.

Dissident Republican Fernando Murphy was handed a 14-month sentence last week

“I sort of broke after that,” she said.

“I could take the abuse when it was me but when it was my daughter it was different.

“He knew that saying horrible, sexual, things about me wasn’t getting a reaction so he moved on to my family, and the targets became my children and my father, who is very ill, and my work.”

‘A big step’

Ms Morris said going to the police was “a big step”.

Dissident Republican Fernando Murphy and Allison Morris

“As someone who is a crime and security correspondent, I deal with the police on a professional basis quite regularly, often quite critically and I hold them to account in a lot of cases, and I just really didn’t feel comfortable,” she said.

“I didn’t want people to think that I was weak, I didn’t want, in a very Belfast way, for people to know my business.”

Northern Ireland is the only region of UK or Ireland without stalking legislation and Ms Morris says she hopes that sharing her experience will change things.

“It made me angry because I was struggling to navigate it and through my work, I know the legal system.

“I thought ‘what must this be like for someone who doesn’t have this knowledge or support or wouldn’t know where to go to complain or appeal or to push things along?’ It’s such an emotionally destroying process that is desperately in need of change.”

The North of Ireland is the only region of the UK or Ireland without stalking legislation Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Writing on Twitter on Monday afternoon, PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said it was “brave and courageous” for Ms Morris to “make her terrible experience public”.

The PSNI currently deals with stalking under the Protection from Harassment Order (NI) 1997.

The Department of Justice held a public consultation last year on the creation of a specific stalking offence.

Its report on the findings said that the majority of respondents strongly supported the introduction of stalking legislation.

The department said it was “determined to do everything it can to protect victims and to stop perpetrators at the earliest opportunity”.

Republican Network for Unity (RNU)

Justice Minister Naomi Long said she was “acutely aware of the distress that stalking behaviour can cause”.

She added that bringing forward legislation that offers the best protection for victims was a priority.

With many thanks to: BBC NewsNI for the original story 

Follow these links to find out more: http://Judge refuses bid to overturn dissident republican Murphy’s alcohol ban

(2)-: https://seachranaidhe1.blog/2019/10/03/cock-of-the-stalk/amp/

Decision not to prosecute British soldier in murder of boy ‘flawed reasoning’

A DECISION not to prosecute the British soldier who shot dead a teenager in Derry 46 years ago was based on “irredeemably flawed” reasoning, the High Court has ruled.

*SCHOOLBOY Daniel Hegarty pictured with his sister Kathleen sitting on a motorbike in the Creggan estate.

Judges held that former Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory imposed too stringent an evidential test for the murder of Daniel Hegarty. Quashing his decision, they also ruled that a four-year delay in reaching it was “manifestly excessive, inexplicable, unjustified and unlawful”.

The verdict represents victory in the legal challenge mounted by relatives of the 15-year-old schoolboy. Daniel was unarmed when he was shot twice in the head during an army operation in the Creggan area of the city in July 1972. In 2011 an inquest jury unanimously found Daniel posed no risk and had been shot without warning. Prompting the coroner to refer the case back to the Public Prosecution Service.

But in March 2016 it was decided not to pursue charges against Soldier B, who fired the fatal rounds, on the basis of no reasonable prospect of a conviction. According to the PPS, forensic experts were unable to state that ballistics evidence was inconsistent with Soldier B’s account of the circumstances in which he fired. Daniel’s sister, Margaret Brady, then issued judicial review proceedings against the decision taken by the then director.

Her senior counsel, Michael Mansfield QC, argued that expert evidence completely refutes assertions that the bullets were fired in self-defence. Instead, he contended, the scientific opinion backed the family’s belief that it was an unlawful killing carried out at a range of less than 10 feet. In a statement the soldier claimed to have pulled the trigger on the machine gun while it was on the ground – an account Daniel’s family allege was contrived to suggest fear of a non-existent threat.

The court heard two conflicting narratives about the events leading up to the shooting. Soldier B, backed by a military colleague, portrayed a situation where they issued clear warning as aggrieved, threatening youths approached before opening fire from a distance of some 25 metres. But in a different scenario advanced by others at the scene the youths were not warned or challenged, only becoming aware of the soldiers presence when shots rang out at point blank range. referring to expert evidence. Mr Mansfield contended that Soldier B’s self-defence assertion lacked any credibility.

Although he accepted a conviction could not be guaranteed, the barrister nevertheless claimed a jury may establish proof beyond reasonable doubt. Counsel for the director agreed that the case was subjected to close forensic analysis, with two expert reports and advice from senior counsel. He also stressed the high threshold required to rebut the soldier’s claims, and to establish perversity in the decision-making process.

But Lord Justice Treacy, sitting with Mr Justice Colton, pointed out that the Public Prosecution Service only needs to be satisfied there is credible evidence which could be proved – not that there will definitely be a conviction. Referring to expert conclusions provided in November 2012, he said: “Had the decision been taken at that time it seems inevitable in light of the scientific evidence and the legal advice that the director must have concluded that the test for prosecution was then satisfied.” Ruling that the director imposed too stringent a test, the judge continued: “We consider that the reasoning leading to the impugned decision not to prosecute is irredeemably flawed. ” In particular the decision of the director is founded on an unreasonable and rationally unsustainable hypothesis which is inconsistent with the case made by Soldier B.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the origional story.

 

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