Belfast Telegraph

Milkshake pensioner was cleared of attempted murder in Northern Ireland

Hampshire Police confirmed it is investigating the milkshake incident (stock photo)
Hampshire Police confirmed it is investigating the milkshake incident (stock photo)

By Staff Reporter

An 81-year-old former Parachute Regiment soldier who had a milkshake thrown over him at a polling station in England for wearing a Brexit Party rosette was tried and acquitted for attempted murder in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, according to a report in the Irish Post.

The paper claimed that Donald MacNaughton, who served in the Parachute Regiment for 22 years, faced trial for the attempted murder of an unarmed civilian in the border area of south Armagh in 1974.

The elderly ex-soldier hit the headlines on Thursday after claiming he was attacked at an Aldershot polling station as he was wearing Brexit Party colours.

He told the Daily Express: "Somebody came across the street to the polling station and he gave me the finger. He then started giving me verbal abuse and ran off. I didn't hear the abuse because I was laughing at him. Ten minutes later he came back with a milkshake, and he threw it over me."

Mr MacNaughton's account of the Thursday milkshake incident has been criticised on social media.

But the veteran dismissed the critics' claims, and said he would be keeping his milkshake-splattered shirt as a trophy.

Last night a fundraising page set up to help pay for cleaning the pensioner's clothes had raised more than £5,000.

In its report into the 1974 south Armagh shooting incident, the Irish Post said that Mr MacNaughton - who was in his mid-30s at the time - was found not guilty of both charges by the Belfast City Commission on September 5, 1974.

The newspaper reported the judge as ruling that the evidence of the civilian victim was "unsatisfactory and inconsistent in certain details", whereas the evidence of the accused and other soldiers "fitted together and was not mutually contradictory".

The judge also found that the prosecution had failed to eliminate "the reasonable possibility" that MacNaughton's action was "reasonable in the circumstances", given "the nature of the terrain and terrorist activity in the area" of Armagh at the time.

Hampshire Police confirmed it is investigating the milkshake incident.

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