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Protest forms for British soldier arraigned over a killing

Video Credit: SWNS STUDIO - Duration: 01:14s - Published
Protest forms for British soldier arraigned over a killing

Protest forms for British soldier arraigned over a killing

A huge protest is taking place outside a court today (26/09) where a dying British soldier is being formally arraigned over the killing of an IRA suspect more than 40 years ago.Great-grandfather Dennis Hutchings, 78, is facing trial over the death of John Pat Cunningham, 27, at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland in 1974. Mr Hutchings, who is seriously ill and doesn't have long to life, served 26 years in the Life Guards with distinction. But the former corporal-major, the highest noncommissioned officer rank in the British household cavalry, was charged with attempted murder after the killing was re-examined by police. The victim reportedly had the mental age of a child between six and ten, and a fear of men in uniform. He was said to have been running away from an Army patrol when he was shot in the back close to Benburb, a village on the border between Armagh and Tyrone. Mr Hutchings, of Cawsand, Cornwall, was prosecuted in connection with the shooting following an investigation into the death in 2013. It is alleged that he and another soldier both fired their guns but it is not known who fired the fatal bullet. Mr Hutchings was in charge of the Army patrol on the day.He is charged with one count of attempted murder and one of attempted GBH and is due to appear at Laganside Crown Court in Belfast via video-link from Plymouth Crown Court at 11am, to be formally arraigned.A large group of supporters turned out in court to support Mr Hutchings this morning with as many as 1,500 people pledging to protest with Rolling Thunder, a veterans campaignAhead of the case hundreds of people shared a post urging supporters of Hutchings to protest outside of the court. One post, which has been shared 602 times and has more than 1,300 reactions, reads: "Here is your chance to turn up and support Dennis."So please bring your banners and flags to the court from 9am."In June this year, it was reported how Hutchings lost a Supreme Court bid to have his trial heard by a jury.The Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland can direct a defendant be tried by a judge alone, in what was formerly known as a Diplock court, where a charged offence was "committed to any extent... as a result of, in connection with or in response to religious or political hostility".Prosecutors directed Hutchings' trial be heard by a judge alone after concluding that there was "a risk that the administration of justice might be impaired if the trial were to be conducted with a jury".Mr Hutchings previously branded his prosecution a "betrayal."He added: "They call it Troubles.

It was a war zone. "You went out on patrol.

You could not say 100% 'I'll be coming back after this'. "I think [the prosecution] is an absolute shambles."At Belfast Crown Court on Friday, September 13, the Honorable Mr Justice Adrian Colton set the date for the Diplock-style trial for Monday, March 9, 2020.

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A huge protest is taking place outside a court today (26/09) where a dying British soldier is being formally arraigned over the killing of an IRA suspect more than 40 years ago.Great-grandfather Dennis Hutchings, 78, is facing trial over the death of John Pat Cunningham, 27, at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland in 1974.

Mr Hutchings, who is seriously ill and doesn't have long to life, served 26 years in the Life Guards with distinction.

But the former corporal-major, the highest noncommissioned officer rank in the British household cavalry, was charged with attempted murder after the killing was re-examined by police.

The victim reportedly had the mental age of a child between six and ten, and a fear of men in uniform.

He was said to have been running away from an Army patrol when he was shot in the back close to Benburb, a village on the border between Armagh and Tyrone.

Mr Hutchings, of Cawsand, Cornwall, was prosecuted in connection with the shooting following an investigation into the death in 2013.

It is alleged that he and another soldier both fired their guns but it is not known who fired the fatal bullet.

Mr Hutchings was in charge of the Army patrol on the day.He is charged with one count of attempted murder and one of attempted GBH and is due to appear at Laganside Crown Court in Belfast via video-link from Plymouth Crown Court at 11am, to be formally arraigned.A large group of supporters turned out in court to support Mr Hutchings this morning with as many as 1,500 people pledging to protest with Rolling Thunder, a veterans campaignAhead of the case hundreds of people shared a post urging supporters of Hutchings to protest outside of the court.

One post, which has been shared 602 times and has more than 1,300 reactions, reads: "Here is your chance to turn up and support Dennis."So please bring your banners and flags to the court from 9am."In June this year, it was reported how Hutchings lost a Supreme Court bid to have his trial heard by a jury.The Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland can direct a defendant be tried by a judge alone, in what was formerly known as a Diplock court, where a charged offence was "committed to any extent... as a result of, in connection with or in response to religious or political hostility".Prosecutors directed Hutchings' trial be heard by a judge alone after concluding that there was "a risk that the administration of justice might be impaired if the trial were to be conducted with a jury".Mr Hutchings previously branded his prosecution a "betrayal."He added: "They call it Troubles.

It was a war zone.

"You went out on patrol.

You could not say 100% 'I'll be coming back after this'.

"I think [the prosecution] is an absolute shambles."At Belfast Crown Court on Friday, September 13, the Honorable Mr Justice Adrian Colton set the date for the Diplock-style trial for Monday, March 9, 2020.




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