Shivers appeals Massereene conviction

Published Wednesday, 15 February 2012
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Terminally ill Magherafelt man Brian Shivers, who was jailed for murdering two soldiers at a military base in Antrim, has launched a legal bid to overturn his conviction.

Shivers appeals Massereene conviction
Brian Shivers at Antrim Court during his trial. (© UTV)

Shivers has lodged papers to appeal the verdict that he was guilty of involvement in the assassination of Sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, and 21-year-old Patrick Azimkar.

His legal team claim he was wrongly punished and want an urgent hearing due to his severe medical condition.

The victims were gunned down by the Real IRA as they collected pizza at the gates of Massereene Barracks in March 2009.

The shootings were carried out hours before the soldiers were due to be deployed to Afghanistan.

Shivers, who is 46 and from Magherafelt, Co Londonderry, was ordered to serve a minimum 25 years in prison after being convicted last month of the killings.

He was also found guilty of six counts of attempted murder and one of possession of two firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

His co-accused, Colin Duffy, a 44-year-old republican from Lurgan, Co Armagh, was acquitted of all charges, including the two murders.

It emerged during the trial that Shivers suffers from cystic fibrosis and has only a few years to live.

He was found guilty on the strength of a DNA link to matches found in the car used in the attack and then set alight.

Shivers was also found to have lied about his whereabouts and actions on the night of the murders.

The judge who convicted him accepted that he played a lesser role than the gunmen and driver of the Cavalier used in the attack.

But he stated that in setting fire to the vehicle Shivers "played a prominent and essential role in this carefully planned and ruthlessly executed crime".

Mr Justice Hart also said: "Those who carry out such heinous crimes would not be able to do so without the assistance of others who play a vital part in helping the main participants to escape afterwards, and conceal or destroy evidence."

Shivers' solicitor, Niall Murphy, of Kevin R Winters and Co, confirmed on Wednesday that an appeal against conviction was lodged this week.

He said: "We have further petitioned the Court of Appeal that it should be listed with as much expedition as is possible given our client's severe medical condition."

Explaining the reasons for mounting the challenge, Mr Murphy added: "We have petitioned the court in our grounds of appeal that the trial judge erred in law by misdirecting himself."

Mr Shivers was wrongly convicted and punished since no conduct of his could constitute the offences of which he has been convicted."

© UTV News
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7 Comments
Realist in belfast wrote (887 days ago):
Sometimes I wonder how these 'legal teams' can live with themselves. Oh yes ...... money.
rab in belfast wrote (889 days ago):
at the time did shivers know if he himself was dying
CECILWILSON in CO/DOWN wrote (889 days ago):
THIS MAN SHIVERS WAS FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER. IF HE CAN DO THIS CRIME HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THE TIME CYSTIC FIBROSIS OR NOT.
Paul in United Kingdom wrote (889 days ago):
How can a judge "misdirect himself" ?
Big Jim in Fermanagh wrote (889 days ago):
Whats the odds that he gets off? His victims ended up being `terminally ill` so let this killer spend his days where he belongs- in jail.
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