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Prosecutors to review no-charge decision over man shot dead by soldier

Published 21/01/2016

Aidan McAnespie was killed in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, in February 1988
Aidan McAnespie was killed in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, in February 1988

The decision not to prosecute a soldier who shot dead a man as he walked through an Army checkpoint in Northern Ireland is to be reviewed.

Aidan McAnespie, 23, was killed in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, in February 1988.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) is to re-examine the decision not to proceed with a prosecution against the soldier who fired the shot.

Mr McAnespie was on his way to a local Gaelic Athletic Association club when he was shot by the Grenadier Guardsman.

The soldier claimed his hands were wet and his finger slipped on the trigger of his heavy machine gun.

The guardsman was initially charged with manslaughter but the charge was later dropped.

The Government expressed "deep regret" about the killing in 2009.

Mr McAnespie's family claimed he had been harassed by soldiers as he passed through the checkpoint on previous occasions.

Northern Ireland's Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory has decided to review the original prosecution file after the case was referred to him by the region's attorney general John Larkin.

The move comes after the McAnespie family asked Mr Larkin to order a new inquest into the death.

A PPS spokeswoman said: "The decision to conduct a review was taken after the matter was referred to the director by the attorney general who was considering a request by the family for a fresh inquest into the circumstances of Mr McAnespie's death."

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