Brother of paratrooper whose ‘life was ruined’ by Bloody Sunday probe threatens legal action over ‘decades of mental breakdowns’ his sibling has suffered
- The veteran known as ‘Soldier C’ has spent decades suffering with depression
- He is said to have had multiple breakdowns after being hounded by police
- His brother said Soldier C lived in constant fear of revenge from the IRA
The brother of a paratrooper who was involved in Bloody Sunday has threatened legal action against the Government for ‘ruining his life’.
He said the veteran, known as ‘Soldier C’, has spent decades suffering depression and multiple breakdowns after being hounded by police. The brother said Soldier C lived in constant fear of revenge from the IRA.
In an emotional interview, he said he was considering legal action against the Government for not helping his brother despite his service for ‘Queen and country’.
The comments came after another paratrooper, identified as ‘Soldier F’, was charged with two murders and four attempted murders over the Bloody Sunday shootings in Londonderry nearly 50 years ago.
Youths confront British soldiers minutes before paratroopers opened fire killing 14 civilians on what became known as Bloody Sunday
A total of 17 former paratroopers could have faced charges over the 13 deaths on January 30, 1972.
Families of the victims have pledged to carry on fighting for justice, raising the prospect of further inquiries.
The brother of Soldier C said the veteran, who has early onset dementia, had gathered with his family to await the decision over charges, which was announced by Northern Ireland prosecutors on Thursday.
The brother said Soldier C ‘broke down’ at hearing he would not be prosecuted after spending 47 years living in fear that he might be.
The unnamed brother told LBC Radio’s Tom Swarbrick: ‘My brother is one of those soldiers who has had this hanging over his head for 47 years. I have seen him have several breakdowns over it over the years. He got the phone call saying that he was basically free and cleared. He’s been nervous and he just broke down.
‘He didn’t do anything wrong, yet he’s had the accusation or the threat of being accused of murder for 47 years and I think it is major part that has ruined his life.’
In this Feb. 2, 1972 file photo, pallbearers carry one of 13 coffins of Bloody Sunday victims to a graveside during a funeral in Londonderry
He said his brother had spent his life living with the threat of being prosecuted for ‘doing his job’.
He said: ‘He was always a very jokey bloke. Since he left the army, his life has spiralled out of control; he’s an alcoholic, suffers from depression and mood swings.’
The former paratrooper’s brother claimed there was one rule for soldiers but another for terrorists, adding: ‘There is imbalance there.
They are being held to a higher standard than actual criminals.’
He said he would be consulting his lawyer. ‘I might try and instigate some legal actions against the Government because he was told to go there, it was his job.’
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