Francis Bradley Inquest

On 18 February 1986, Francis Bradley aged 20, from Newbridge in south Derry was shot dead by undercover British soldiers at the rear of a farmhouse near Toome. Weeks earlier in December 1985, RUC Officers at Gough Barracks had threatened Francis that he would be dead before his 21st birthday. An inquest into Francis’ death took place in Magherafelt in March 1987. The two soldiers who opened fire did not appear to give evidence. A pathologist told the inquest that the first shot that struck Francis was fired from behind, and that the fatal burst of shots occurred whilst he was lying on the ground on his back, facing up, from a distance of around ten feet. In 2012 it emerged that the soldier responsible for the fatal burst of shots also discharged 20 rounds in an incident in Co Armagh in 1990 in which two men were fatally injured. In May 2010 the Attorney General ordered a new inquest into Francis’ death. Tomorrow morning the presiding Coroner, Mrs Justice Keegan will assess the progress of the inquest.