Tuesday 21 November 2017

Bail refused over barracks murders

Dissident republican Brian Shivers has had two murder convictions quashed
Dissident republican Brian Shivers has had two murder convictions quashed

A terminally-ill man ordered to face a retrial after his convictions for murdering two British soldiers in Northern Ireland were quashed will remain in prison until the case is heard, judges have ruled.

A bail application for Brian Shivers was refused by the Court of Appeal in Belfast as it emerged that his lawyers are attempting to challenge the decision to order the new trial in the UK's Supreme Court.

In refusing bail, the Appeal Court judges acknowledged the health issues facing the cystic fibrosis patient but said the risk of him offending was too high to release him from Maghaberry high security jail in Co Antrim.

The same court ruled on Tuesday that the convictions against the 47-year-old from Magherafelt, Co Londonderry, for the 2009 murders of sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, and Patrick Azimkar, 21, outside Massereene army barracks in Antrim were unsafe.

The three Appeal Court judges, among them Northern Ireland's Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, ordered a new trial following an application from the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

They said the move was in the public interest. The trial has been provisionally pencilled in for the start of March.

Shivers, dressed in a checked jacket and jeans, sat impassively in court throughout the legal proceedings at the High Court.

Delivering guilty verdicts last January, judge Mr Justice Anthony Hart, who has now retired, drew on DNA evidence to find that Shivers set light to the getaway car used in the gun attack.

Quashing those convictions, the Appeal Court noted that Mr Justice Hart had found Shivers guilty of murder as a secondary party, not murder as part of a joint enterprise, which had been the case put forward by the Crown.

On that basis, the judges found, setting fire to the car after the shootings was not enough find him guilty.

Press Association

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