Family of man shot in back on Bloody Sunday awarded £160,000
Judge says solider who shot Patrick Campbell displayed ‘exceptional’ malevolence
Troops fire CS gas among a crowd in Derry in Janaury 1972. Photograph: Ciaran Donnelly.
The family of a man shot in the back by a British soldier as he tried to run to safety on Bloody Sunday are to be awarded more than £160,000, a Belfast High Court judge has ruled.
Patrick Campbell was seriously injured and quit his work as a docker after the January 1972 shootings in Derry, in which 14 people died.
Mr Campbell, a father-of-nine, was aged 52 when he was wounded by a bullet from a high velocity rifle fired by Lance Corporal F. Mr Campebell died in 1985.
Mr Justice McAlinden held that his family should receive a payout of £163,048 from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to cover loss of earnings and damages.
“The court has no hesitation in finding that the wrongful actions of the servants or agents of the defendant on the day in question gave rise to emotions of extreme fear, if not terror, in the mind of the deceased.”
Members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators during the events, which came to be known as Bloody Sunday.
In 2010, the Saville Inquiry into the shootings established the innocence of all those killed and wounded. Those findings led to the then British prime minister David Cameron issuing a public apology for the soldiers’ actions. He described the Bloody Sunday killings as “unjustified and unjustifiable”.
More than £2 million has already been paid out in settlements and awards made in other actions against the ministry on behalf of those bereaved or injured. With liability accepted, proceedings brought by Mr Campbell’s family centred on a dispute over the level of compensation.
The court heard he was shot at relatively close range at the rear of the Rossville flats in Derry, falling to his knees as he tried to reach safety.
Counsel for the Campbell family claimed Lance Corporal F had acted liked it was a “turkey shoot”.
His son, Billy Campbell, told how his father had to give up his job as a docker and began binge drinking because of what happened on Bloody Sunday. He said his father tried to keep his suffering hidden from the family.
Confirming the overall award, Mr Justice McAlinden added: “The court has no hesitation in finding as a fact that the behaviour of the solider who shot the deceased was exceptional and contumelious, and was imbued with a degree of malevolence and flagrancy which was truly exceptional.”