Kathleen Thompson inquest: Ballistic experts attest to impossibility of Soldier D's account

Kathleen Thompson.
Kathleen Thompson.

Ballistic experts have told the inquest into the death of Kathleen Thompson that the soldier’s account of hearing a shot that was allegedly fired at him was not possible.

In his evidence Soldier D said he fired two shots after he heard ‘a bang and saw a flickering light’ and heard the bullet going past his head.

However, two ballistic experts have said that at the range the soldier claimed to be at, twenty yards, that was not possible.

Ann Kiernan an expert for the Coroner said that the speed of bullet would be such that it couldn’t be heard.

Ms Kiernan said: “When fired at 20 yards with the sound of the discharge and the flash you would not hear the flight of the bullet.

“You would not hear the sound."

The expert was challenged by Kevin Rooney QC for the Ministry of Defence as to her contention and asked what was she basing this on and she replied ‘science’.

Mark Mastaglio a ballistics expert called on behalf of the Thompson family said that in a built up urban environment ‘you cannot really pinpoint the origin of a discharge.'

As regards hearing the bullet passing Soldier D’s head Mr. Mastaglio said: “You do not hear it unless you are very far away from the gun.

“No matter how well trained you are you will not hear the bullet because of the bang of the gun."

The expert was asked could the calibre of a weapon be determined by the wounds caused.

He said that certain calibre could be ruled out at the lower end and higher end of the spectrum.

The inquest continues.