Northern Ireland news

Coroner refers findings on killing of mother-of-six Kathleen Thompson to PPS

Kathleen Thompson (47) was shot dead by the British army at her home in Creggan, Derry in November 1971.
Seamus McKinney

The daughter of a Derry woman shot dead by the British Army in 1971 says she wants to see the soldier responsible prosecuted for her mother’s death.

Minty Thompson was speaking after a coroner confirmed she has formally referred her findings on the killing of Kathleen Thompson to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

Mother-of-six, Mrs Thompson (47) was shot dead in the back garden of her Creggan home in November 1971 by a member of the Royal Green Jackets Regiment known as Soldier D.

At an inquest into her death in June, coroner, Judge Sandra Crawford found Mrs Thompson was banging a bin lid on the ground to alert neighbours that the British army were in the area, a common practice at the time.

The coroner found that the shooting was not justified and that Soldier D’s evidence that he felt under fire was “contrived and self-serving”.

It was confirmed today that Judge Crawford has now referred her findings to the PPS under relevant legislation.

Welcoming today’s development, Mrs Thompson’s daughter said Soldier D gave evidence over four days during the inquest.

She said: “We now expect to see Soldier D face the consequences of his actions and for the Director (of Public Prosecutions) to prosecute him accordingly.”

Ms Thompson’s solicitor, Ferghal Shiels of Madden and Finucane said Soldier D’s ongoing anonymity must now be reviewed in light of Judge Crawford’s findings.

“We hope that the coroner will provide all necessary documents, including statements and transcripts of Soldier D’s evidence to the DPP to enable him to reach a fully informed decision, and not merely the coroner’s findings,” Mr Shiels said.

A spokeswoman for the PPS said that when received, the coroner's referral would be considered "carefully" to determine appropriate action, including whether or not the matter should be referred to police for investigation.

Northern Ireland news