Dennis Hutchings’ lawyer: Far from killing victim, my client tried to save his life
A lawyer acting for Dennis Hutchings has said that any statute of limitations which the government brings in should be known as “Dennis’ Law” in his honour.
Philip Barden said: “I was with him on Monday shortly before he passed away. What follows is what he wanted me to say on his behalf.
“I hope that the Government will now enact a statute of limitation that will end the shameful pursuit of Army veterans in Northern Ireland.
“This should be known as Dennis’ Law as it is the cause that he fought and died for.”
Mr Barden said Mr Hutchings had only fired “air shots”.
“Dennis fired one warning shot,” he said.
“Mr Cunningham stopped and turned momentarily. This enabled another soldier to move closer to Mr Cunningham in an attempt to arrest him. That soldier thought Mr Cunningham was about to produce a weapon and he cocked his rifle, but did not fire.
“Mr Cunningham turned and ran off. Dennis fired two warning shots... At the same time another soldier fired the fatal shots. It was Dennis who applied field dressings to Mr Cunningham and tried to save his life. Those are not the actions of a man who had moments before attempted to murder Mr Cunningham.
“I hope that no-one else goes through Dennis’ experience of a process that preoccupied the last 10 years of his life.
“I believe that if our Prime Minister had been born in Northern Ireland and had seen the Troubles and the peace process that was brought about primarily by the Army, then he would have protected these vulnerable veterans from this unseemly process by now.
“This Government can only be judged by its actions. It has already been too slow to act to save Dennis, but there is still time to save others.”
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