Northern Ireland

Daniel Hegarty case: PPS not to prosecute soldier who shot teen in 1972

Daniel Hegarty Image copyright Not Specified
Image caption Daniel was shot dead during Operation Motorman

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) says it has decided not to prosecute in the case of a 15-year-old boy shot dead by a soldier in Londonderry in 1972.

An inquest in 2011 found that Daniel Hegarty posed no risk when he was shot twice in the head close to his home in Creggan.

Following the inquest, the PPS was asked to consider if the soldier responsible should be prosecuted.

It now says that there is no reasonable prospect of a conviction.

The prosecution service's Assistant Director of Central Casework, Michael Agnew, said: "The standard of proof that the prosecution must reach in a criminal trial is the high one of beyond reasonable doubt.

"Our assessment remains that there is no reasonable prospect of proving to the criminal standard that [the soldier] did not act in self-defence having formed a mistaken but honest belief that he was under imminent attack.

"I understand how disappointing this decision will be for the families involved, particularly in light of the findings returned by the inquest jury," he said.

"We have sought to provide them with detailed reasons for our decision and to assure them that the decision was taken only after a most careful consideration of all the available evidence."

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