Saturday 21 July 2018

British soldier charged with manslaughter over killing of Aidan McAnespie in 1988

The 23-year-old was killed at an Army checkpoint in Tyrone

Aidan McAnespie was shot dead as he walked through an Army checkpoint in Northern Ireland in 1988 (PA)
Aidan McAnespie was shot dead as he walked through an Army checkpoint in Northern Ireland in 1988 (PA)

A British soldier has been charged with manslaughter by gross negligence over the killing of Aidan McAnespie near a border checkpoint in 1988

The move comes after a case review by the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland.

Catholic man Mr McAnespie was killed in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, in February 1988.

The 23-year-old had been on his way to a local Gaelic Athletic Association club when he was shot by a Grenadier Guardsman.

He was hit by one of three bullets fired from a machine gun.

The soldier who fired the shots claimed his hands were wet and his finger slipped on the trigger of his heavy machine gun. He was fined for negligent discharge of his weapon and medically discharged from the Army.

The guardsman was initially charged with manslaughter but the charge was later dropped in 1990.

The Public Prosecution Service announced in 2016 it would review a decision not to prosecute the soldier.

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