'SCANDAALOUS' SHIVERS MASSEREENE CONVICTION QUASHED Slain Soldier's Mother Hits out at Appeal Court Ruling Accused to Find out If He Will Face a Second Murder Trial
Byline: ALAN ERWIN and VICTORIA MCMAHON firstname.lastname@example.org
THE mother of one of the slain Massereene soldiers blasted the quashing of Brian Shivers' murder conviction as "scandalous" last night.
Geraldine Azimkar - whose sapper son Patrick, 21, was gunned down in a hail of gunfire alongside 23-year-old Mark Quinsey hit out after the Court of Appeal in Belfast ruled the double murder conviction It looks against Brian Shivers was unsafe and quashed his 25-year sentence for the killings.
Speaking from her home in London the grief-stricken mother said: "It seems scandalous really that this terrible murder happened and the attempted murders happened and it looks like no one is going to be held to account for it."
Mrs Azimkar said yesterday's decision had left her and Patrick's father Mehmet Azimkar disillusioned with the criminal justice system.
Co Derry man Shivers is the only person convicted over the sappers' killings outside the Massereene Barracks in Antrim nearly four years ago.
Mrs Azimkar spoke out ahead of the Public Prosecution Service's decision on whether to seek a retrial against the Magherafelt man.
Their decision is expected to be announced today. And if prosecution lawyers decide against mounting a fresh legal challenge terminally ill Shivers could walk out of Maghaberry Prison in Co Antrim a free man within hours.
Mrs Azimkar said: "We feel very let down by the criminal justice system. It does not seem to work for the victims of crime.
"The whole thing is awful from start to finish."
The sappers were gunned down by a deadly Real IRA gang as they collected pizza at the gates of their Antrim barracks in March 2009.
The soldiers died just hours before they were due to be deployed on a tour of duty to Afghanistan.
Shivers' co-accused, Colin Duffy, a 45-year-old prominent republican from Lurgan, Co Armagh, was acquitted of all charges, including the two murders.
Last January, Mr Justice Anthony Hart, who has now retired, found cystic fibrosis sufferer Shivers had set light to the Vauxhall Cavalier getaway car used in the deadly shooting.
The judge said he was satisfied that DNA on burnt matches found at the scene belonged to the 47-year-old.
But Shivers' lawyers argued it was legally impossible for him to be convicted of murder because there was no "actus reus", or criminal act, prior to THE murder.
the Court of Appeal." ruled such an act, after the shootings, wasn't enough to prove that Shivers was guilty of the role of secondary party in THE murders.
Delivering judgment yesterday., Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan said the trial judge had not dealt with the concept of a joint enterprise. …