Northern Ireland news

No date listed for next hearing in Aidan McAnespie manslaughter case

Aidan McAnespie who was shot dead after walking through a British Army checkpoint
John Breslin

No date has been listed for the next hearing in connection with the case of David Holden, the former British soldier accused of the manslaughter of Aidan McAnespie.

Judgment was reserved more than two and half months ago following the conclusion of the one-judge trial before Belfast Crown Court.

John McAnespie, the father of the 23-year-old, died this week without hearing the judgment. He had campaigned for many years to unravel the truth around his son's death.

“John remained dignified and steadfast throughout the 34-year campaign and has become the third member of our family to have passed during this time,” the McAnespie family said in a statement to The Irish News.

“It is deeply disappointing that John did not get to see a conclusion before his passing.”

Aidan McAnespie was killed on the Monaghan Road in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, on Sunday, February 21, 1988. He had just passed a British Army security checkpoint.

Mr Justice John O’Hara, who presided over the trial, is responsible for fixing the next date in the case.

Mr Holden (52) was 18 at the time of the shooting and serving in the Grenadier Guards.

He denies manslaughter, claiming the shooting was an accident as the bullets were discharged when he picked up the already cocked weapon left by another soldier.

Northern Ireland news