Guardsmen accused of Belfast murder

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The Independent Online
TWO SOLDIERS were charged yesterday with the murder of an unarmed Catholic man in Belfast, writes Jason Bennetto.

Peter McBride, 18, who had two children, was shot while running away from an Army patrol on Friday. He had earlier been questioned and searched.

Mark Wright, 19, and James Fisher, 24, both serving in the Scots Guards, appeared at Belfast magistrates' court. Their addresses were given as Girwood Barracks. They were accused of killing Mr McBride in Upper Meadow Street in the New Lodge Road area of north Belfast.

Mr McBride's father, also called Peter, shouted 'Bastards' and 'You scumbag' at the soldiers as they appeared in court.

The dead man's sister, Kelly McBride, wept when they appeared in the dock. Mr McBride's girlfriend, the mother of his children, aged nine weeks and 17 months, was also in the public gallery.

The magistrate, Ian Bamford, threatened to clear the court if there was any further interruption. He said: 'I understand it is a very sensitive occasion. I am not going to deal with anyone at this stage in any other way except with understanding, but I have to give a warning that this is a court of law and I would just like matters to proceed in a proper fashion without interruption.'

The soldiers were each remanded on bail of pounds 2,000 into secure military custody. They will be held under a 24-hour armed guard.