13/06/2003

Army was wrong to keep killers says Court

The Court of Appeal in Belfast has said that the Army was wrong to retain two soldiers who killed a local teenager in 1992.

Scots Guards Mark Wright and James Fisher were convicted of murdering 18-year-old Peter McBride while they were on patrol near his home in the New Lodge area of north Belfast.

Despite the ruling the two soldiers were allowed to rejoin the regiment in 1998 having been sentenced to six years in prison.

The 2-1 majority ruling was given on Friday following an appeal by the McBride family.

However, despite today's decision the Court stopped short of ordering the Army to dismiss the two men saying it could "take such course as it thinks fit, having regard to the opinions expressed by the court concerning the conclusions reached by the Army Board".

Following the decision SDLP leader Mark Durkan called on the Government to accept that the two soldiers now have no place in the Army.

(MB)

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