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Former soldier to be prosecuted over teen's murder in 1972

Sky News logo Sky News 4 days ago
a close up of a man: Daniel Hegarty's family were informed of the development by the director of public prosecutions © Other Daniel Hegarty's family were informed of the development by the director of public prosecutions

A former soldier is to be prosecuted over the murder of a teenage boy almost 50 years ago.

Known as Soldier B, they are also facing a charge of wounding with intent relating to a second teenager.

Daniel Hegarty, 15, died after being shot twice in the head by a member of an Army patrol in the Creggan area of Londonderry on 31 July 1972.

In this February 1972 file photo, a building burns in the bogside district of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday. © AP In this February 1972 file photo, a building burns in the bogside district of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday.

His cousin, Christopher Hegarty, 17, was also shot and injured in the incident which took place during what was known as Operation Motorman.

Stephen Herron, the director of public prosecutions for Northern Ireland, met the Hegarty family in private in Derry on Monday to explain that charges will be brought.

The decision follows the ruling of the divisional court last year and a subsequent review of the case. A quiet night in Belfast - Cpl Roger Soames of Aylesbury, Bucks., and Marine Thomas Taylor of Accrington, Lancs., both of Royal marine 40 Squadron Commandos, keep watch from the newly established post on the roof of Artillery Flats in the New Lodge Road area of Belfas. © PA A quiet night in Belfast - Cpl Roger Soames of Aylesbury, Bucks., and Marine Thomas Taylor of Accrington, Lancs., both of Royal marine 40 Squadron Commandos, keep watch from the newly established post on the roof of Artillery Flats in the New Lodge Road area of Belfas.

Evidence from the initial investigation, a later investigation by the historical enquiries team, material from inquest proceedings and expert forensic reports have been considered.

Mr Herron said: "I have concluded that the evidence which can be presented at court is sufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction and that the evidential test for prosecution is met. Armoured vehicles, including 50-ton converted Centurion tanks, were used to bulldoze barriers in Catholic no-go areas of the Bogside and Creggan estates. © PA Armoured vehicles, including 50-ton converted Centurion tanks, were used to bulldoze barriers in Catholic no-go areas of the Bogside and Creggan estates.

"As with all cases, I have also carefully considered whether the public interest requires prosecution through the courts. Particular consideration was given to Soldier B’s ill health, regarding which an updated medical report was obtained.

"In line with our code for prosecutors, I have concluded, given the seriousness of the charges, that the public interest test for prosecution is also met."

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