Belfast Telegraph

Kathleen Thompson inquest: Court told of 'threat' against soldier witness

A soldier may be unable to travel to Northern Ireland to participate in an inquest into a Troubles shooting due to a potential threat against him, a coroner's court has been told.

The soldier, known only as Soldier D, is due to give evidence as part of the inquest into the death of Kathleen Thompson.

The 47-year-old mother of six died during an army raid on her home in Londonderry in 1971.

A preliminary hearing of the inquest has been told that a threat assessment has been carried out regarding Soldier D's ability to travel to Northern Ireland from Great Britain, where he lives.

A lawyer for the coroner's office told the court: "The threat assessment is that if he stays in Great Britain while giving evidence the threat is low and if he comes to Northern Ireland it is moderate."

Representing Ms Thompson's next of kin, barrister Fiona Doherty told the court her clients would consider Soldier D remaining in Great Britain and giving evidence by video link instead.

However, she said she has previously found inquests which have used video link footage have encountered "technology failures".

Ms Doherty said: "My experience of remote evidence is not good but I will certainly consider it."

She said she would discuss the matter with her clients and inform the court of their position on using video link by Tuesday.

The court was also told that an engineer is due to carry out an inspection of the property in which Ms Thompson died, to be submitted to the inquest.

A forensic photographer has been engaged to submit a report as part of the inquiries.

The next preliminary hearing is due to take place on October 17.

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