Mother of soldier killed in Northern Ireland says court decision to overturn verdict is scandalous

Geraldine Azimkar spoke out against the ruling by the Court of Appeal in Belfast

The mother of a British soldier shot dead in Northern Ireland has described the  decision to quash the conviction of the only person jailed for her son’s murder as “scandalous”.

Geraldine Azimkar, whose Sapper son Patrick, 21, was killed along with comrade Mark Quinsey, 23, outside the Massareene Amy Barracks in Antrim, spoke out against the ruling by the Court of Appeal in Belfast, which concluded verdicts in the original non-jury trial were unsafe.

Mrs Azimkar said she and Patrick’s father, Mehmet Azimkar, had lost all faith in the criminal justice system after the 25-year sentence handed to Brian Shivers, the only man convicted of their son’s murder, was overturned.

Speaking from the family home in London, Mrs Azimkar said: “It seems scandalous that this terrible murder happened and the attempted murders happened and it looks like no one is going to be held to account for it. We feel very let down by the criminal justice system. It does not seem to work for the victims of crime. The whole thing is awful from start to finish.”

Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey were off duty when they were gunned down while collecting a pizza delivery at the gates to their barracks in 2009. The attack by men shooting automatic rifles from a nearby car also injured two pizza delivery drivers and two more soldiers. The shooting was claimed by the Real IRA. The men were the first British military fatalities in Northern Ireland since February 1997.

In the original trial last January, the presiding judge Mr Justice Anthony Hart, who has since retired, found that Shivers set fire to the getaway car used in the attack. He was satisfied that DNA on burnt matches found at the scene belonged to the defendant.

But today the Court of Appeal ruled this act alone was not sufficient to prove Shivers was a secondary party in the murders, for which he had been sentenced to 25 years.

The summary of judgement stated: “The Chief Justice (Sir Declan Morgan) said the court did not accept that a person who provides assistance after a murder with full knowledge of what has happened becomes guilty of murder and that there was no authority to support such a proposition.”

Shivers’ lawyers argued that while the prosecution had presented the case against him as murder as part of a joint enterprise, the judge had convicted him of murder as a secondary party. Under the second definition, the defence argued, setting fire to the car after the event was not enough in itself to find him guilty.

In an emotional statement, Mrs Azimkar made it clear she did not blame the police or Public Prosecution Service. “It is the failure of the criminal justice system, which is very highly loaded in favour of the defendant and therefore against the interests of victims and their loved ones,” she said.

Shivers will remain in custody until the Public Prosecution Service decides whether to seek a retrial.

News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Extras
indybest

News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Life and Style
news

As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”

Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition