IRA man 'dying' before final shot
An IRA man was already dead or dying when he was shot on the ground from close range by an SAS soldier, a pathologist told a Belfast inquest.
Dessie Grew (37) was one of two Provisionals gunned down near sheds under surveillance by special forces for terrorist activity near Loughgall, Co Armagh, in 1990.
A total of 72 bullets were discharged at Martin McCaughey, (23) and Grew and a lawyer for their families has accused a special forces member of finishing them off while they were lying defenceless on the ground.
Pathologist Dr Nat Cary said: “You could not assume he (Grew) was dead but you could assume he was dying of his other wounds. Even when people are critically injured they may last a few minutes.”
The inquest is probing one of several so-called security force “shoot-to-kill” incidents which have sparked controversy and a series of official investigations.
Soldier D admitted firing the final two shots at Grew, claiming he moved as he opened a barn door, causing the former corporal to instinctively reach for his gun.
Soldier D denied firing a third bullet at McCaughey's head while he was lying on the ground.
Dr Cary said that, given the number of bullets discharged and the nature of the injuries, it was highly likely that Grew and McCaughey received shots whilst on the ground or partially so.