Former British soldier guilty of manslaughter of Aidan McAnespie | Pro IQRA News

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A former British soldier has been found guilty of killing a man at an army checkpoint in Co Teron more than 30 years ago.

David Jonathan Holden (53) was on trial at Belfast Crown Court accused of the manslaughter of Aidan McAnsby in February 1988.

Mr McAnespie, 23, was killed in Aughnacloy moments after he crossed a border security checkpoint.

He was on his way to the local GAA club when he injured his back.

Holden had confessed to firing the shot that killed Mr. McCansby, but said he had fired the weapon by accident because his hands were wet.

But the trial judge, Mr O’Hara, said he was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Holden was guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

He said Holden should have appreciated the consequences of his actions from the moment he pulled the trigger.

Holden is a former Grenadier Guardsman from England whose address is given in court documents as follows: c/o Chancery House, Victoria Street, Belfast.

Aidan McCansby, who was fatally shot, aged 18, near a checkpoint in Co Teron in 1988. Photo: PA

The case was heard in Diblock format without a jury hearing.

Holden’s supporters gathered outside the court each day the trial was held.

The trial continued amid ongoing controversy over the British government’s plans to deal with North Korea’s turbulent past.

The Northern Ireland Problems (Inheritance and Reconciliation) Bill proposals offer an effective amnesty to those suspected of killings during the conflict, if they agree to cooperate with a new body, known as the Independent Commission on Reconciliation and Information Recovery (Icrir).

The bill also bans future civil cases and investigations of unrest crimes.

Holden’s case is one of a series of high-profile trials of British army ex-combatants prosecuted in Northern Ireland in recent years.


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