Press Release: John Patrick Cunningham

KRW LAW LLP is instructed on behalf of the family of John Pat Cunningham.


John Pat Cunningham (27) was shot by the British Army on 15th June 1974 Carrickness, Benburb.


Last year the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland decided there was sufficient evidence to bring an indictment against retired British Army soldier Dennis Hutchings for attempted murder.


Today the lawyers representing Dennis Hutchings attempted to halt his prosecution. This application was dismissed by the judge in the Crown Court in Belfast.


The family of John Pat Cunningham welcome this decision of judge to continue with the criminal proceedings against Dennis Hutchings.


The decision of the judge – and the controversy surrounding the decision to prosecute Dennis Hutchings and other members of the British Security Forces for crimes committed during the Conflict – has come in a week when the issue of historic prosecutions has been discussed at Cabinet Level in London following the circulation of a policy paper on the Legacy of Conflict being circulated by the Northern Ireland Office.  Controversially the Prime Minister addressed the House of Commons on this matter yesterday in remarks criticised by former Justice Minister David Ford.


It is an abject misrepresentation to allege that British Army soldiers are being unduly targeted for prosecution, when in fact, only four soldiers have ever been prosecuted for on duty killings.  Statistics provided to the Defence Committee last year by leading academics confirm this, as do public statements by the PPS and the PSNI.


Rosie Kinnear, Solicitor, KRW LAW LLP said:


“Today is further vindication for the family who have waited, through no fault of their own, for over 40 years for John Pat’s murder to be prosecuted in Court. They are pleased with the decision the judge has made that the case should continue, and wish for the trial to continue without further unnecessary delay”