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Ex-soldier 'won't give evidence at appeal'

By Ivan McMichael

Published 08/09/2007

A former Paratrooper whose evidence is vital to a man's 15-year battle to clear his name has no intention of returning for an appeal, it emerged yesterday.

Stephen Boyce, believed to be working in Iraq, has not replied to numerous emails, Crown Counsel Gary McCrudden told the Court of Appeal in Belfast.

"So far as we can gather he has no intention of making himself available for any future hearing," said Mr McCrudden.

The former soldier left the Army three years after his evidence helped convict Christy Walsh of having a bomb.

Walsh, a 43-year-old painter from Belfast was jailed for 14 years in 1992.

Frank O'Donoghue, QC, defending, said he would be applying to have Mr Boyce's statement to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, in which he changed his evidence, admitted at the appeal hearing.

Mr O'Donoghue said he would also be seeking the admission of new forensic evidence.

The hearing was adjourned until October 5.

Belfast Telegraph

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