Soldier will challenge 1972 murder charge

A former soldier is mounting a legal challenge to being prosecuted for the murder of a teenage boy in Londonderry 47 years ago.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 9th December 2019, 4:19 pm
Updated Saturday, 25th January 2020, 1:57 am
Daniel Hegarty.
Daniel Hegarty.

Daniel Hegarty was shot twice in the head during a British Army operation in the Creggan area of the city in July 1972.

In April this year the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) announced that the ex-serviceman, who cannot be identified, is to be charged with the 15-year-old’s murder.

He is also facing prosecution for intentionally wounding Daniel’s cousin Christopher Hegarty, then aged 17, in the same incident.

Lawyers representing the former soldier are now seeking to judicially review those PPS decisions.

Due to an anonymity order he can only be referred to as JR84.

Further reporting restrictions are being sought to ensure no details about his identity or whereabouts are disclosed.

At a review hearing in the High Court on Monday Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan set out steps to ensure media organisations have an opportunity to challenge the anonymity arrangements.

The case is expected to be mentioned again next month.

Daniel Hegarty was killed during Operation Motorman, when British troops were deployed in Londonderry at the height of the Troubles to clear so-called no-go areas.

Adjourning proceedings, Sir Declan imposed a deadline for dealing with any issues around reporting restrictions in the case.