THE killing by a British soldier of an unarmed IRA man as he ran across a field was unjustified, a coroner ruled yesterday.
The 1972 shooting of 19-year-old Seamus Bradley has been disputed ever since.
He was killed by an unknown Royal Scots Regiment soldier in an operation to end no-go zones in Londonderry.
The Army claimed he was in a tree and suffered further injuries as he fell but his family alleged he was taken away and killed during an interrogation.
Coroner judge Patrick Kinney rejected both versions at Belfast coroner’s court.
He said Mr Bradley was shot by a soldier who got out of an armoured carrier and fired several times.
He said Mr Bradley “had no weapon”.
The soldier, if he is ever identified, could face a criminal probe for breaching the Army’s “yellow card” rules about when they could shoot.
The coroner said he would send a report to Northern Ireland’s director of public prosecutions.
Outside court Mr Bradley’s brother Danny said: “I am happy with the verdict. I am happy that I went forward, even with threats from the IRA, and got this situation heard.”