Daniel Hegarty: ‘Soldier B’ to be prosecuted over teenager’s killing in 1972
Written by News on 16/04/2019
A former soldier is to be prosecuted for the murder of a teenage boy almost 50 years ago.
Known as Soldier B, they are also facing a charge of wounding with intent relating to a second teenager.
Daniel Hegarty, 15, died after being shot twice in the head by a member of an Army patrol in the Creggan area of Londonderry on 31 July 1972.
His cousin, Christopher Hegarty, 17, was also shot and injured in the incident which took place during what was known as Operation Motorman.
Stephen Herron, the director of public prosecutions for Northern Ireland, met the Hegarty family in private in Derry on Monday to explain that charges will be brought.
The decision follows the ruling of the divisional court last year and a subsequent review of the case.
Evidence from the initial investigation, a later investigation by the historical enquiries team, material from inquest proceedings and expert forensic reports have been considered.
Mr Herron said: “I have concluded that the evidence which can be presented at court is sufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction and that the evidential test for prosecution is met.
“As with all cases, I have also carefully considered whether the public interest requires prosecution through the courts. Particular consideration was given to Soldier B’s ill health, regarding which an updated medical report was obtained.
“In line with our code for prosecutors, I have concluded, given the seriousness of the charges, that the public interest test for prosecution is also met.”
The Hegarty family released a statement saying they welcomed the decision.
They said: “This has been a long journey. We have lost our parents along the way and recently our sister Philomena.
Daniel was a 15-year-old child, full of life… it has taken 47 years to finally get the state to do the right thing.”
They added: “We offer our support to other families seeking justice. Stick with it. Difficult as it is, engage with your solicitor and follow the legal route in a patient and dignified way in the memory of the loved one you seek justice for.”
(c) Sky News 2019: Daniel Hegarty: ‘Soldier B’ to be prosecuted over teenager’s killing in 1972