Northern Ireland news

Aiden McAnespie: Former soldier accused of manslaughter challenges prosecution case

Aiden McAnespie

LAWYERS for a former soldier accused of the unlawful killing of Aiden McAnespie at an army checkpoint more than 30 years ago are to mount a legal challenge to the prosecution case.

David Jonathan Holden, whose address was given on court papers as c/o Chancery House, Victoria Street, Belfast, was due to be formally arraigned today on the single charge he faces.

The 50-year-old, a former Grenadier Guardsman who was 18 at the time Mr McAnespie died, has been accused of his manslaughter on February 21 1988.

But at Belfast Crown Court, defence counsel Frank O'Donoghue QC told Mr Justice Colton that the arraignment hearing would not now go ahead.

The checkpoint at Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone where Aiden McAnespie was killed

He said he would be submitting a "No Bill application and an abuse of process application'' to the charge.

Mr O'Donoghue told the court that his defence skeleton argument on the legal challenges would be before the court by Monday.

The judge listed the hearing for the defence legal challenge for March 20, which is expected to last a full day.

Mr O'Donoghue added that Mr Holden was currently on bail and would be attending the hearing next month.

Mr McAnespie (23) was shot dead close to an army checkpoint on the border at Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone as he walked to a GAA match.

He was struck by one of three bullets fired from a machine gun.

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