Army Veterans Facing murder charges over Bloody Sunday within two weeks

You are clearly biased, so there’s little point debating with you
I am sorry, and a bit shocked, you feel that way. I genuinely thought we were engaging in a reasonable debate, I am disappointed you would react in such a vituperative manner.

Have I convicted the man? No, of course not that is not within my powers, but have I formed an opinion of him? Yes I have, in the same way I have formed an opinion of Gerry Adams and Abu Hamza al-Masri and others, men whom I have never met but have learned enough about from reliable and trustworthy sources for me to form an opinion of their behaviour and morality. In none of their cases is my opinion a very high one, L/Cpl. F's wearing of the Queen's uniform doesn't give him a free pass in my opinion.

Enough evidence, fact-based and checked and analysed, about the man has emerged to discredit him, if he is ever actually brought to trial I expect and would demand that he gets a fair hearing and would imagine that he will have the best defence lawyers (taxpayers') money can buy, he will have every opportunity to disprove the charges against him in court and at the end of it to walk away without a stain on his character if the court so finds. I would expect nothing more.

I mentioned Costas Georgiou, "Colonel Callan". Do posters here think he was a good bloke, a decent cove who got a bit carried away, you know how these things happen, no need to go on about it?

I somehow doubt it, a disgusting, murdering, psychopathic bastard would be the opinion of most reasonable men I would assume. So when did this personality flaw develop? Was he a nice bloke when he was in the Paras, like his erstwhile comrades Soldiers F and H? Or were they all thugs in and out of the uniform?

Georgiou was dismissed from the Paras two weeks after BS for holding up a post office while armed with Army weapons. Let's just pause to let that sink in, Colonel Callan got busted out of the ranks for robbing one of Her Majesty's Irish post offices while armed with an Army weapon, Lance Corporal F slotted half a dozen of Her Majesty's Irish subjects while armed with an Army weapon, and what happened to him? Oh dear, never mind, it's off to Hereford for you, naughty boy.

Anyone else see what is wrong with this picture?
 
Is he though? Or is he a ‘victim’ of the circumstances of the time and attitudes that prevailed.

What has his conduct been outside the armed forces? Has he killed anyone, been a threat.

I’ll admit to being a little torn on this. I believe in the rule of law, I believe in justice, but there is no denying that sometimes the law is an ass.

I keep comparing this to that of Charles De Menezes - The CPS did not have enough evidence to prosecute the officers directly concerned of murder. They undoubtedly killed him and had done so with the intent to do so, but murder requires the perpetrator to act unlawfully and this must have been the sticking point for the CPS.

The Police Commissioners office were subsequently for for failing in its duty of care to CDM.

I feel Bloody Sunday and all other suspect incidents of that era are primarily the fault of establishment. Soldier F cannot rely on the Nuremberg defence, but if he was misled into believing he or others would be under direct threat, regardless if that is true or not, then has he acted unlawfully?

If it can be shown that he has acted maliciously, he would be punished. However the MoD should shoulder a large proportion if not all of the blame.
You don’t have to have acted maliciously for it to be a crime it just changes what your charged with
 
Georgiou was dismissed from the Paras two weeks after BS for holding up a post office while armed with Army weapons. Let's just pause to let that sink in, Colonel Callan got busted out of the ranks for robbing one of Her Majesty's Irish post offices while armed with an Army weapon, Lance Corporal F slotted half a dozen of Her Majesty's Irish subjects while armed with an Army weapon, and what happened to him? Oh dear, never mind, it's off to Hereford for you, naughty boy.

Anyone else see what is wrong with this picture?
Yep, the lack of support Georgiou is getting on this site, he was probably suffering from PTSD, or it was a different time or the Government let him down or something.
 
I am sorry, and a bit shocked, you feel that way. I genuinely thought we were engaging in a reasonable debate, I am disappointed you would react in such a vituperative manner.

Anyone else see what is wrong with this picture?
Yes, you're biased. Your statements of "fact" extrapolated from tenuous and dubious assumptions are angled to make Soldier F appear to be an evil, psychopathic murderer. "Sneering" in a photo? Really? You don't know him (and nor do I), and you cannot know that's the case. The fact that F apparently went on to a full career with SF would tend to argue against any mental imbalance (no nutters among the few SF blokes I've known - instability being something that doesn't work out well in the long run in that line of work).

You have an agenda - linking in Costas Georgiou is indicative of this. He was booted out of the Army and sentenced to 5 years for the post office robbery, so what relevance to the character of F does this have? None, unless you're attempting to blacken his name by association with a known criminal, murderer and probable psychopath.

The dead of Bloody Sunday weren't "Her Majesty's Irish subjects"; they were Her Majesty's Northern Irish subjects, or more simply Her Majesty's subjects. Careful now, your agenda's showing.
 
Yes, you're biased. Your statements of "fact" extrapolated from tenuous and dubious assumptions are angled to make Soldier F appear to be an evil, psychopathic murderer.
I don't think the circumstances of the deaths of the two men he's accused of murdering, never mind the others he's accused of attempting to murder, are in any doubt and are pretty much as described. One was crawling along the street having already been seriously wounded when he was shot from behind, through the buttocks. The second, a 41 year old man, was waving a white handkerchief and going to his aid when he was shot at fairly close range in the head, neither man was armed or was doing anything that could reasonably have given the firer and reason for his actions, which soldier F later lied about, repeatedly in fact. There were numerous witnesses to both shootings one of whom was an Army officer observing the scene from the city walls.
As far as I can see the best that can be said about Solder F is that he is entitled to his day in court.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
As far as I can see the best that can be said about Solder F is that he is entitled to his day in court.
IMHO there's still a fair chance that his defence will successfully manage to argue that there's reasonable doubt in linking him to those specific deaths. He may yet go free.
 
I don't think the circumstances of the deaths of the two men he's accused of murdering, never mind the others he's accused of attempting to murder, are in any doubt and are pretty much as described.
Not the point I was making. I was referring to Barton's agenda -driven posts full of opinion dressed up as fact, for instance:

"The smug grin on his face in the photo taken only an hour or two after he calmly put lethal rounds into the backside of a man crawling away from him and the head of an old man trying to help the previous victim says volumes about him."

Supposition, innuendo and an attempt to ascribe veracity to his assumptions, which he has no way of knowing the truth of.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Even after one of the bullets fired from his rifle was dug out of one of the victims spine? A victim he had denied shooting?
He may struggle with that one. I must admit to being slightly surprised the police had the technology to trace bullets to individual weapons back in 1972 but my knowledge of forensics is limited to watching CSI so what do I know?
 
"The smug grin on his face in the photo taken only an hour or two after he calmly put lethal rounds into the backside of a man crawling away from him and the head of an old man trying to help the previous victim says volumes about him."
Have you seen the photo?

Or read the Saville report which tends to support the supposition he was acting calmly as he was not 'firing in a state of fear or panic'?

"In Rossville Street, Lance Corporal F fired from the low walls of the Kells Walk ramp and killed Michael Kelly who was behind the rubble barricade on Rossville Street, some 80 yards away. Initially Lance Corporal F said nothing about this shot but later he admitted that he had fired, falsely claiming that this was at a nail bomber. In our view Lance Corporal F did not fire in panic or fear, without giving proper thought to whether he had identified a person posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. We are sure that instead he fired either in the belief that no-one at the rubble barricade was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone at the rubble barricade was posing such a threat. "

"We have above identified Corporal E, Lance Corporal F, Private G and Private H as the soldiers who went into Glenfada Park North, between them killing William McKinney and Jim Wray, injuring Joe Mahon, Joe Friel, Michael Quinn and Patrick O’Donnell, and possibly injuring Daniel Gillespie. All claimed that they had identified and shot at people in possession of or seeking to use bombs or firearms. "

"We have no doubt that Lance Corporal F shot Patrick Doherty and Bernard McGuigan, and it is highly probable that he also shot Patrick Campbell and Daniel McGowan. In 1972 Lance Corporal F initially said nothing about firing along the pedestrianised area on the southern side of Block 2 of the Rossville Flats, but later admitted that he had done so. No other soldier claimed or admitted to firing into this area. Lance Corporal F’s claim that he had fired at a man who had (or, in one account, was firing) a pistol was to his knowledge false. Lance Corporal F did not fire in a state of fear or panic. We are sure that he fired either in the belief that no-one in the area into which he fired was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone there was posing such a threat."

More here https://assets.publishing.service.g.../uploads/attachment_data/file/279167/0030.pdf
 
He may struggle with that one. I must admit to being slightly surprised the police had the technology to trace bullets to individual weapons back in 1972 but my knowledge of forensics is limited to watching CSI so what do I know?
Marks left on the round as it passes along the barrel, unique as a fingerprint by all accounts and known about for at least a century. :)
 
Have you seen the photo?

Or read the Saville report which tends to support the supposition he was acting calmly as he was not 'firing in a state of fear or panic'?
Yes to both your questions (or rather I have read parts of the report - having a job and children, I have other things to occupy my time).

What is a "smug grin"? Unless you are familiar with a person's facial expressions, what may appear to be a grimace or sneer might just as easily be a friendly smile.

As to Saville, the attempt to ascribe intent to actions is in my opinion doubtful. How can they know? They know what was said in statements, they have witnesses telling them what they saw, but to categorically identify exactly why F acted as he did many years after the fact is beyond their ability, in my opinion. The evidence just isn't there.
 
Yes to both your questions (or rather I have read parts of the report - having a job and children, I have other things to occupy my time).

What is a "smug grin"? Unless you are familiar with a person's facial expressions, what may appear to be a grimace or sneer might just as easily be a friendly smile.

As to Saville, the attempt to ascribe intent to actions is in my opinion doubtful. How can they know? They know what was said in statements, they have witnesses telling them what they saw, but to categorically identify exactly why F acted as he did many years after the fact is beyond their ability, in my opinion. The evidence just isn't there.
I agree with you on the picture as interpretation is a matter of opinion and we would never know that accurate context, the photographer could have been making funny comments etc.

I am happy to go with the opinion of Saville who spent ten years on this and as a QC and judge is more than qualified to draw conclusions from evidence.
The thing I find particularly sad is no-one in authority has been held to account. Look at the evidence and questioning of Loden who comes across like a guilty Scouser caught with his hand in the till.
 
I agree with you on the picture as interpretation is a matter of opinion and we would never know that accurate context, the photographer could have been making funny comments etc.

I am happy to go with the opinion of Saville who spent ten years on this and as a QC and judge is more than qualified to draw conclusions from evidence.
The thing I find particularly sad is no-one in authority has been held to account. Look at the evidence and questioning of Loden who comes across like a guilty Scouser caught with his hand in the till.
Fair enough. You say you are happy to go with the opinion of Saville on F's intent. The Conclusions of the Inquiry generally exonerate Maj Loden:

4.27 In our view, events moved so fast after the soldiers had disembarked in the Bogside that
Major Loden had no idea what was actually going on; he assumed that his soldiers had
come under attack from republican paramilitaries and were responding
. It could be said
that another officer in Major Loden’s position might have appreciated earlier that, in view
of the amount of Army gunfire, something seemed to be going seriously wrong;
republican paramilitaries were not known to take on troops in force, but usually sniped
at individuals from positions of cover. In consequence such an officer might have made
greater efforts to control the situation.

4.28 Major Loden was surprised by the amount of firing. However, he did not initially
appreciate that something was wrong and did not order a ceasefire or give any other
instructions to his soldiers until after all the casualties had been sustained. We consider
that it was not unreasonable for him initially to believe, as he did, that his soldiers, by
going into an area dominated by paramilitaries, had for once encountered paramilitary
resistance in strength, to which they were responding. We accept his evidence that in
this belief, it was not for him to control or stop his soldiers’ firing, but to leave this to the
platoon and section commanders. We also accept, for the reasons he gave, that he
not see the targets that his soldiers were engaging and thus could not tell whether or not
the firing was unjustified.


4.29 In our view, at the time the casualties were being sustained, Major Loden neither realised
nor should have realised that his soldiers were or might be firing at people who were not
posing or about to pose a threat of causing death or serious injury.
However, we consider
that at the time when he did tell his soldiers not to fire back unless they had identified
positive targets, he probably did realise that the firing that was taking place then was, or
might be, unjustified. By this stage all the casualties had been sustained and there had
been a pause in the firing.

That's Saville pretty much saying it wasn't Loden's fault, or at least that he wasn't responsible; if you don't accept that (and you may have cause from deeper knowledge than I of the testimony given), why should I or anyone else accept Saville's (IMHO) much less evidence-based identification of F's intent to his actions?


 
You shouldn't. The cases have almost no similarities other than a member of British security forces shooting a civilian.

The Menezes case involved someone being shot because there was a genuine belief that he posed a threat and was therefore a legitimate target. This error was created by a series of institutional procedural faliures and the shooter made the correct decision based on the information he had at the time.

Soldier F knowingly shot a number of people who never presented themselves as a threat and he cannot have believed were legitimate targets. Whatever the validity of the intelligence on the day, he chose to fire at some people who clearly weren't targets (even if he thought some were). Unlike in the Menezes case, he didn't make the correct decision based on the information he had at the time and that's all that matters for a murder conviction.



Yes. The law requires, and required at the time, that you identify an individual as a threat before shooting them. Firing into a crowd or at civilians because you (however genuinely) believe there's a threat somewhere out there is still illegal.
Has the trial of Soldier F finished already? You seem to know the outcome.
 
He may struggle with that one. I must admit to being slightly surprised the police had the technology to trace bullets to individual weapons back in 1972 but my knowledge of forensics is limited to watching CSI so what do I know?
Rifling examination as forensics was used since 1835 in a london case and again in 1915. most famously in the Chicago ST. Valentine's day massacre it was used to trace to specific Thompson SMG's
https://www.wzzm13.com/article/news...ntines-day-massacre-tale-of-two-guns/28246308
 

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