DENNIS HUTCHINGS AGAINST PROSECUTION FOR MURDER OF J P CUNNINGHAM – JUDGMENT OF UKSC DELIVERED
KRW LAW LLP is instructed on behalf of the family of John Patrick Cunningham.
John Patrick Cunningham (27) was shot by the British Army on 15thJune 1974 at Carrickness, Benburb, Northern Ireland.
Dennis Hutchings was a serving soldier with the Lifeguards Regiment. Two charges of attempted murder and attempted grievous bodily harm with intent were bought against him in 2015 relating to the death of J P Cunningham .
The proceedings are stayed before the Crown Court in Belfast as Mr Hutchings – who contests his prosecution – challenged the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland to have him tried before a judge sitting without a jury having applied a statutory certificate.
Today, in a judgment handed down by Lord Kerr, the former Lord Chief Justice for Northern Ireland, Mr Hutchings’ appeal was dismissed.
The Court found that they did not have jurisdiction to the impeach the decision of the DPP in applying a certificate, that there were no exceptional circumstances in the case of Mr Hutchings’ and that his claim of right to a jury trial was wrong and that he has only the right to a fair trial, which will now proceed before a judge alone.
This concludes another chapter in the quest for justice sought by the family of J P Cunningham who will now see Mr Hutchings face a fair trial for his actions.