Jean McBride was legally obliged to exhaust all domestic remedies before she could go to the European court, and after she lost a High Court action in Belfast, she is now free to do so.
Her solicitor, Peter Madden said that neither the guardsmen, their commanding officers, the chain of command nor the British political and military establishment “had ever acknowledged their wrongdoing.”
“It is our view that earlier decisions of two army boards, that there were exceptional reasons to retain the killers, is a refusal to accept the decisions of the trial judge, the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords,” he said.
Madden pointed out that other soldiers, charged with far lesser offences, had been discharged from the British army. A British major was recently expelled for cheating on a TV game show, but the services of two murderers are being retained.
Jean McBride’s 18-year-old son Peter was shot dead by the two Scots Guards in Belfast in 1992. The patrol had earlier body-checked him for weapons and allowed him to proceed.
The two were sentenced to life for murder in 1995, but three years later were released from prison and allowed to rejoin their regiment. At their trial, they claimed they believed McBride was carrying a bomb. But the judge found they were lying as they had already stopped and searched him.
“I don’t think there is a judge in Northern Ireland with the bottle to stand up against the establishment, so it looks like we’ll have to take our case to Europe,” said the dead man’s mother.
The Sinn F