Nothing new on McBride army killers

The mother of British army murder victim Peter McBride has blasted as “nothing new” an internal report from the army that found it was wrong to allow two soldiers convicted of his murder back into its ranks.
Independent Assessor of Military Complaints Procedures, Jim McDonald, insisted the decision to let Scots Guardsmen Mark Wright and James Fisher back in dealt a major blow to the forces' reputation.
Jean McBride gave a guarded welcome to the report, but said previous recommendations by the assessor about her son's case had been ignored.
"This is nothing new – Mr McDonald has made these reports all along," she said.
"It just seems to be that it is falling on deaf ears."
SDLP Justice Spokesman Alban Maginness said it was "one of the most appalling cases of abuse by the British army".
"As Jim McDonald rightly points out, people are regularly put out of the Army for smoking cannabis – yet these soldiers have been allowed to stay on. One has even been promoted," he said.
"In fact, every soldier found guilty of murder has been discharged from the Army, except where their victims have been civilians in the north."
Sinn Féin north Belfast assembly member Gerry Kelly called for the immediate removal of the two guardsmen.
"The British government should now order the immediate dismissal of these two convicted killers from the British army and allow the McBride family some closure on this injustice," he said.
Wright and Fisher were found guilty of killing 18-year-old Peter McBride, shot after being searched by a British army foot patrol in the New Lodge district of North Belfast in 1992.
The soldiers' claim that they opened fire because they thought Mr McBride was carrying a coffee jar bomb was rejected by the trial judge as a lie, and they were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.
However, after serving six years they were released and allowed to return to the Army.

Journalist:: Andrea McKernon

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