Daughter of Soldier Killed By IRA Wins Vindication and Right to Damages

<p>Where the criminal process fails to deliver justice, civil compensation claims can be the only means by which victims can achieve vindication. The point was powerfully made by the case of a soldier&rsquo;s daughter who triumphed in her damages claim against a man who was an active participant in an IRA bomb attack which killed her father.</p>

<p><img alt=”Soldiers” src=”https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/legalrss-production/assets/3462/small/people-wearing-green-and-brown-camouflage-military-suit-104764.jpg?1576878777″ style=”border-style:solid; border-width:0px; float:right; margin:2px 5px” />The 19-year-old soldier and fellow members of the Household Cavalry were riding through Hyde Park on 20 July 1982 when a radio-controlled car bomb exploded. He and three other soldiers lost their lives and 31 other people were injured. His then four-year-old daughter was in the barracks cr&egrave;che at the time and heard the explosion, also witnessing the shocking aftermath at first hand.</p>

<p>The man was suspected almost from the outset of involvement in the attack, but his extradition from Ireland to stand trial was not pursued. He was not arrested until 2013 when he voluntarily arrived at Gatwick Airport. His trial on four murder charges collapsed after it emerged that, as part of the Northern Ireland peace process, he had been sent in error a letter which gave him official assurance that he was not under investigation. He had flown to the UK in reliance on that assurance.</p>

<p>The dismissal of the murder charges as an abuse of process, however, did not deter lawyers from launching civil proceedings against him on behalf of the soldier&rsquo;s now-adult daughter. She claimed damages on behalf of her father&rsquo;s estate and for the psychiatric harm she personally suffered due to the bombing. Her openly stated aim in pursuing the case was to achieve vindication for the deadly attack on her father.</p>

<p>In upholding her claim, the High Court found as a fact that her father was unlawfully killed by persons acting together in the name of the IRA, of which the man was a member. Fingerprint evidence established on the balance of probabilities that he was knowingly involved in a concerted plan to detonate a bomb which was specifically targeted at soldiers going about their ceremonial duties. The amount of the daughter&rsquo;s compensation would be assessed at a further hearing.</p>