Northern Ireland: New date for delayed sentencing in Aidan McAnespie Troubles case

Rescheduled sentencing of former soldier David Holden found guilty of manslaughter expected Thursday 2 February, 1pm

McAnespie family and Amnesty to hold press conference outside Laganside Court immediately after sentencing

Former Grenadier Guardsman David Holden is due to be sentenced on Thursday (2 February,1pm) for the manslaughter of Aidan McAnespie.

The McAnespie family and Amnesty International UK will hold a press conference outside Laganside Court immediately after the sentence has been handed down.

Holden was found guilty of manslaughter on 25 November 2022, after the judge found he gave a “deliberately false account” of events in the shooting of 23-year-old Aidan McAnespie who was killed while on his way to a Gaelic football match in 1988.

The sentencing is the same week that the highly controversial and widely opposed Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill returned to the House of Lords (31 January) for further deliberation. If passed, the bill will introduce a de facto amnesty for serious crimes committed during the Northern Ireland conflict, permanently denying other victims and their families justice.

The bill has been firmly rejected by victims and victims’ rights groups, Amnesty, Northern Ireland political parties and the Irish government, as well as prompting serious concern from the US Congress, the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteurs, and the Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights.

Press conference

Who: Vincent, Sean, Margo and Gerard McAnespie, and Brian Gormley - siblings and cousin of Aidan McAnespie, along with Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International UK’s Deputy Director for Northern Ireland, and Solicitor Darragh Mackin of Phoenix Law.

What:

  • 12:45pm: Photo opportunity as McAnespie family, Amnesty and solicitor arrive at court
  • 1pm: Sentencing, press conference immediately after sentence is handed down

Where: Outside Laganside Court, 45 Donegal Quay, Belfast BT1 3LL        

When: Thursday 2 February 2023, starting at 12:45pm

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