NI: Lord Weir suggests MoD responsible for soldiers seeking anonymity

Lord Justice Weir
Lord Justice Weir

The senior judge undertaking a two-week review into 56 legacy cases has suggested the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is responsible for encouraging soldiers to seek anonymity.

Lord Justice Weir, the presiding judge of the Coroners’ Service, made the remarks after being advised a former soldier called to give evidence about the 1973 murder of Daniel Carson, 29, may seek anonymity.

Lord Weir retorted: “Why on earth would he want anonymity?”

He added: “Ordinary people living in England don’t go to bed at night thinking about anonymity and screening.

“The idea has to come from somewhere, and to my mind it comes all too frequently and inappropriately.”

The soldier in this case was one of the first people to arrive on the scene of Mr Carson’s shooting in the Shankill area of Belfast.

Lawyers for the victim’s family are probing an eyewitness’ claim that she relayed the identity of the gunman to them.

Lord Weir said “completely futile applications” for anonymity were causing lengthy and unnecessary delays in court proceedings.

He added: “I often think that if people did not cry wolf so often, you might be more prepared to listen to them when the wolf actually arrives.”

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