Former soldier charged over death of Tyrone man in 1974

John Pat Cunningham was shot in a field near his home in Benburb Co Tyrone in June 1974. Pic:Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
John Pat Cunningham was shot in a field near his home in Benburb Co Tyrone in June 1974. Pic:Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
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A 73-year-old man, understood to be a retired soldier, has been charged with the attempted murder of a man in Co Tyrone more than 40 years ago.

He was arrested in England earlier this week by detectives from the Legacy Investigation Branch who are investigating the murder of 27-year-old John Pat Cunningham in Benburb in 1974.

Following the arrest, a PSNI spokesman said the suspect was being brought to Northern Ireland for questioning at the Serious Crime Suite in Antrim police station.

On Friday night, police said they had charged the man with attempted murder in relation to the fatal shooting and that he was due before Omagh magistrates on Saturday morning.

Mr Cunningham, who had learning difficulties, was shot by members of an Army patrol on June 15, 1974.

The case was re-opened by the PSNI and a murder investigation followed a re-examination of the available evidence.

Mr Cunningham was said to have had a fear of men in uniform and was running away from an Army patrol when he was shot.

The Government apologised for his death in 2013.