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Dennis Hutchings dead aged 80 – Veteran on trial over fatal shooting during Troubles dies


A TROUBLES veteran who was being pursued through the courts over a fatal shooting has died, it was reported.

Dennis Hutchings, 80, had denied attempting to murder and cause grievous bodily harm to John Pat Cunningham.

Mr Cunningham, who was 27, was shot in the back as he ran from an Army patrol in a field near Benburb, Northern Ireland, in 1974.

Mr Hutchings’ trial was adjourned on Friday after he took ill and the court heard on Monday that he had tested positive for Covid.

But he died in Belfast's Mater hospital later, the BBC reported.

His defence barrister informed Belfast Crown Court that Mr Hutchings had taken ill as proceedings in the non-jury trial were due to continue.

James Lewis QC told judge Mr Justice O’Hara that Mr Hutchings had been unable to attend court.

“I regret to say he’s been taken unwell and is presently in hospital,” he said.

The trial had been ongoing for two weeks.

Mr Hutchings was suffering from kidney disease and the court had only been able to sit three days a week to allow him to undergo dialysis.

The former member of the Life Guards regiment from Cawsand in Cornwall denied a count of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent.

Former Army Staff Sergeant Dennis Woollons, 94, unable to collect for Poppy Appeal due to Covid 

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