HC Deb 23 July 1979 vol 971 cc32-3W
61. Mr. Dunlop

asked the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on the failure of the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute those responsible for the killing of Mr. James Taylor at Coagh on 30 September 1978.

The Attorney-General

Upon consideration of the evidence reported by the Chief Constable in relation to the fatal shooting of Noel Samuel James Taylor by a soldier on 30 September 1978 the Director concluded that the evidence did not warrant the institution of any criminal proceedings in respect of the fatal shooting of Mr. Taylor. Accordingly a direction of "no prosecution" was given on 18 April 1979.

My predecessor agreed with this conclusion, and I have since read the papers and also agree with the Director's decision.

Writs claiming damages have been issued against the Ministry of Defence by Margaret Taylor, the widow, and William Robert Devenny, William George Hamilton McCollum and Given Hamilton Shuter, who were involved in the incident. Pleadings have now been closed but notices of trial have not yet been served.

I would like to add that the accounts of this incident put out by the press do not tell the whole story, but in view of the forthcoming inquest and High Court actions I do not feel it right to go into the details of the incident.