Irish Republican News · March 6, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Irish lives bottom of British Army’s table

The family of a North Belfast teenager shot dead by two British soldiers has challenged the British Army to explain why they had not been thrown out despite serving murder convictions.

Jean McBride, whose son Peter was gunned down in the New Lodge area in 1992, welcomed the decision by the British Army on Friday to dismiss three soldiers jailed by a military court martial for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners near Basra in May 2003.

Unlike most abuse cases in Ireland, the Iraqi abuse was captured in photographs.

However, the British army has yet to act against more senior officers who devised a plan to punish looters by ordering that they be rounded up, beaten and abused. Some of the victims were subjected to sexual abuse.

The British soldiers who were tried said that they were being held up as ‘sacrificial lambs’, covering up for what was British army policy on torture.

Mrs McBride asked why two British soldiers, Mark Wright and James Fisher, who were convicted in 1995 of Peter McBride’s murder and served three years jail, were allowed to rejoin the regiment and remain in the Army.

“According to a court of law two Scots guards, Mark Wright and James Fisher, were guilty of murdering my son,” she said.

“They knew that Peter was unarmed and was no threat to them.

“But despite their convictions the Ministry of Defence has allowed both convicted murders to stay on in the Army.

“General Mike Jackson sat on the Army Board that made this decision as did (Northern Ireland Office minister) John Spellar.

“Now, finally, I understand why. According to this government the two soldiers shot my son in the back did not bring disgrace on the Army. What other explanation is there?”


In a separate development, British soldier Lee Clegg is to face a court martial over allegations that he assaulted a teenager.

The paratrooper was convicted of murder after shooting two teenage joyriders in Belfast in 1990.

He was jailed for life in 1993 but freed on licence two years later.

Now 36, and head of a British army police section, he is reportedly accused of punching a boy soldier and making him lie about an injury.

If found guilty he faces up to six years in jail and could be thrown out of the British army, according to reports.

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