Former British soldier Dennis Hutchings
Northern Ireland

Dennis Hutchings: Former British Soldier Pleads Not Guilty To Attempted Murder During Troubles

The veteran has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of a man during the conflict in Northern Ireland in 1974.

Former British soldier Dennis Hutchings

Dennis Hutchings has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him (Picture: PA).

A former British soldier has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of a man during the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Dennis Hutchings, 78, a former member of the Life Guards regiment, is due to stand trial in Belfast in March in relation to the fatal shooting in 1974.

Mr Hutchings wore a suit as he appeared via video link before a court in Belfast for a short arraignment hearing on Thursday.

John Pat Cunningham, 27, who had learning difficulties, was shot in the back as he ran away from an Army patrol near Benburb, County Tyrone.

Mr Hutchings, from Cornwall, pleaded not guilty to both a charge of attempted murder and a charge of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent.

His trial will begin on 9 March, Mr Justice Adrian Colton said.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 4 November, when the court will consider legal issues surrounding the disclosure of evidence and expert testimony, the judge said.

He released the accused on continuing bail and excused him from attending the next hearing.