British soldier back in combat despite killings

A soldier who was jailed for life following the shooting dead of two teenagers in the North of Ireland is to serve in Afghanistan, according to a report today.

It is thought it will be the first time Clegg has been sent into a combat zone since his controversial release from prison more than a decade ago.

Clegg was a member of the notorious Parachute Regiment when he fired at a stolen car as it burst through a checkpoint in Belfast in September 1990.

He was jailed for life in 1993 for murdering passenger Karen Reilly, 18, and wounding 17-year-old driver Martin Peake, who also died in the incident.

Clegg was accused of using excessive force and firing a fourth shot into the back of the car when it was clearly no possible danger to him or his colleagues.

At Clegg’s original trial fellow paratrooper Chris Aindow was found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by faking an injury as a justification for the killings.

Independent witnesses saw members of the patrol deliberately injuring Aindow to back up their false claim that the stolen vehicle had struck a soldier before being fired upon.

An RUC officer who had accompanied the patrol that night originally made a statement backing the soldiers’ version but retracted his evidence when the independent witnesses exposed the story as a tissue of lies.

Clegg was freed on licence in 1995, leading to riots in nationalist areas of Belfast.

At his retrial Lee Clegg attempted to resurrect the original lie but Judge Kerr summed up his testimony as a “farrago of untruths”. The Judge branded Clegg a liar as he acquitted the soldier of murdering West Belfast teenager Karen Reilly.

A major campaign for hius exoneration by the right-wing British press continued until the second conviction was quashed a year later.

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