Case shows fallacy of UK Government legacy proposals, says Eastwood

The sentencing of a former soldier for the killing of a man in 1988 shows the fallacy of the UK Government’s legacy proposals, Alliance MLA Sorcha Eastwood has said.

Sorcha Eastwood Legacy

In November, David Jonathan Holden was convicted of the manslaughter of Aidan McAnespie, who was shot in the back at an army checkpoint in February 1988. The former soldier was today given a suspended sentence of three years.

Alliance Legacy spokesperson Ms Eastwood said the proposed amnesty by the UK Government would mean similar cases in future would never reach the courts.

“My thoughts are with the family of Aidan McAnespie, who have shown remarkable bravery in reaching this stage today,” said the Lagan Valley MLA.

“Whilst I understand they might be disappointed with the suspended sentence, it was important to see this case taken to its conclusion. Justice should have no time limit and the criminal justice system should always be available to those who seek to use it.

“Today’s events bring into sharp focus the UK Government’s Legacy Bill and its consequences. If enacted, families and loved ones will have the opportunity of truth and justice snatched from their hands, while undermining human rights and their enforcement across the UK.

“I once again urge the Government to listen to the overwhelming majority of people in Northern Ireland and pull its massively flawed and misjudged Bill.”