Former Soldier To Be Charged With Murdering A Teenager In 1972

A former soldier is to be prosecuted for the murder of a teenage boy in L'Derry in 1972.

Fifteen-year-old Daniel Hegarty was shot and killed by a member of a British Army patrol on 31 July 1972 during an operation known as 'Operation Motorman'.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has today announced that Soldier B will face charges of murder and wounding with intent in respect of a second youth.

Daniel died after he was shot twice in the head by Soldier B. His cousin Christopher Hegarty, then aged 17, was also shot and injured in the incident.
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The Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland, Stephen Herron, met with members of the Hegarty family in a private meeting today to inform them of the decision. Speaking afterwards, he said: "Following the ruling of the Divisional Court last year I conducted a review of this case. I have given careful consideration to all of the available evidence. This has included material obtained in the course of the initial investigation; by a later investigation carried out by the Historical Enquiries Team; material generated by Inquest proceedings and a number of expert forensic reports, the most recent of which was provided after the Court ruling in 2018.

"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."


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