16/01/2003

McBride family re-appeal Scots Guardsmen decision

The family of Peter McBride, who was shot and killed by the British army in 1992, will launch a fresh legal challenge against the MoD today over their decision to retain the two Scots Guardsmen in the ranks.

Lawyers for the McBride family will begin the appeal against the ruling of Justice Kerr in judicial review at 10.30am in the Court of Appeal, Belfast. Justice Kerr's ruling upheld the decision of a British Army Board allowing Guardsmen Mark Wright and James Fisher to remain as serving soldiers – despite their convictions for the murder of 18-year-old Peter McBride.

Commenting ahead of the appeal Jean Mc Bride said: "I have promised (Prime Minister) Tony Blair that I will fight for justice for my murdered son so long as there is a breadth left in my body. If we fail at the Court of Appeal we will go to Europe.

"I spent 18 years raising a son. If I have to spend another 18 years to get his murderers expelled from the British Army I will. Every day that Wright and Fisher remain in the army is an insult to his memory and sends the message that the life of a young Irish lad is worthless. I will never accept that. He was my son."

On September 4 1992, father-of-two Peter Mc Bride was stopped and searched by members of a Scots Guards patrol in the New Lodge area of north Belfast. He was subsequently shot as he fled the scene. Guardsmen Wright and Fisher were charged with murder and on February 10 1995 were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

However, the pair were released and on November 3 1998 the Army Board ruled that Wright and Fisher could continue their careers in the services under an ‘exceptional circumstances’ clause.

The appeal hearing is expected to last two days.

(GMcG)

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