Soldier B not to face prosecution for murder of Derry teenager Daniel Hegarty during Operation Motorman

The PPS have informed the family of a 15-year-old boy shot dead in Derry in 1972 that a British soldier will not be prosecuted for his murder.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 1:11 pm

Daniel Hegarty was killed after being shot twice in the head by a soldier in July 1972 in Creggan during Operation Motorman.

His cousin Christopher was also wounded after being shot in the head.

The PPS had initially announced in April 2019 that the man known as Solider B would be prosecuted for murder and wounding.

However following a recent ruling, the PPS conducted a review into legacy prosecutions.

The Hegarty family met with the Director of the PPS earlier this morning and were informed that the prosecution would not be proceeding.

Des Doherty, acting on behalf of the Hegarty family, said that the Hegarty family accepted the letter outlining the reasons for the PPS decision ‘under protest’

“We don’t accept the decision, but we accepted the letter outlining the reasons for that decision.

“We are left in a terrible legal void once again. We must consider the depth of what are PPS are now saying in writing and respond to that.”

The solicitor said that as a result of the recent ruling in the McCann case, statements given in 1972 and to the HET in 2006 in relation to Soldier B could no longer be relied upon.

“Soldier B was never formally arrested and questioned properly under PACE in relation to the murder of Daniel and the wounding of Christopher. We invited the PPS not to proceed with their decision not to prosecute and reconsider their decision immediately.”

He said they have asked the PPS to instruct the police to invite solider B to voluntarily attend for interview under caution.

Mr Doherty said there is ‘still time to cure the problem’.

“The family, after all they have been through and as we approach the 49th anniversary of Daniel’s murder, are feeling like there is no truth, there is no justice.”

“It is extremely depressing,” he added.

Mr Doherty said judicial review proceedings may have to take place and it was difficult to make any further comment at this time.