Derry court date set for ‘Soldier F’

People running for cover on Bloody Sunday (PA/PA Wire)
People running for cover on Bloody Sunday (PA/PA Wire)

Soldier F, the former British paratrooper being prosecuted for the murder of two men on Bloody Sunday, is to be summonsed to appear before Derry Magistrate’s Court in August.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has informed the family of one of those shot dead in the Bogside on January 30, 1972, that court papers will be formally served on the ex-soldier, some time in July.

In a letter to Michael McKinney, whose brother, William (27), was gunned down as he ran for cover in Glenfada Park, the PPS also confirmed that a first court appearance for Soldier F is listed for a date in August.

‘Soldier F,’ now aged 66, is to appear in court accused of the murders of William McKinney and Jim Wray as well as the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell.

In its letter to Mr. McKinney, the PPS said that, at this stage, the accused with be summonsed to Derry Magistrate’s Court, Bishop Street.

Michael McKinney said his priority now was to see the papers officially served on Soldier F.

“Time has always been of the essence in this case and it is essential that this PPS timetable - albeit a provisional one - is adhered to,” he maintained.

“I, and all the other families of those who died and who were injured on Bloody Sunday, have been waiting 47 years to see justice.

“We have been continually frustrated and disappointed at the lack of urgency in bringing those who committed crimes to justice and these delays have only added to our pain and grief.

“This is why it is so important that justice is done and seen to be done in this case. The serving of court papers will be the first step in this process.”

Mr. McKinney said he also wanted to see Soldier F appearing in a Derry courtroom.

“It was in Derry that these crimes were committed and it is here, in Derry, that those accused of perpetrating these crimes should answer for them,” he added.