Soldier F a ‘prime target’ for those seeking vengeance over Bloody Sunday

Ex-British army parachute regiment member permitted to retain anonymity by judge

Soldier F, the only former British soldier charged in connection with the killings on Bloody Sunday, has been allowed to retain his anonymity. Image: iStock.

Soldier F, the only former British soldier charged in connection with the killings on Bloody Sunday, has been allowed to retain his anonymity. Image: iStock.

 

Soldier F, the only former British soldier charged in connection with the killings on Bloody Sunday, has been allowed to retain his anonymity due to the fact he would be a “prime target for anyone seeking vengeance for the terrible events of Bloody Sunday”.

The former member of the British army’s parachute regiment is currently facing a preliminary inquiry to see if he should be returned for trial on two murder charges and five attempted murders on January 30th, 1972.

Giving judgement on an application to review Soldier F’s anonymity, District Judge Ted Magill said the former soldier had enjoyed anonymity in regards to the Widgery Tribunal in 1972, the Saville Inquiry and in respect of these proceedings since September 2019. He said threat assessments had been carried out in July 2019 and again on March 24th last and these found that Soldier F was at “low” risk from dissident republicans in the North and in England.

However, he said this threat level could rise if Soldier F should be denied anonymity.

He accepted evidence from former senior PSNI officer Alan McQuillan, who said Soldier F “would have to look over his shoulder for the rest of his life” as he would be a target for dissident republicans if identified.

He said the anonymity order should be maintained but said it would be reviewed prior to any trial that should arise. The preliminary inquiry has been adjourned while the prosecution reviews the decision to prosecute Soldier F.