Soldier not justified in firing shot, says coroner at teenager's inquest

An unjustified shot from a British soldier caused the death of a teenager while she embraced her boyfriend in Troubles Belfast, a coroner has said.

Marian Brown, 17, was killed on June 10 1972 near a vehicle checkpoint in Roden Street.

The couple were caught in the crossfire of dozens of bullets as they said farewell when members of the Royal Anglian Regiment came under attack.

They were posing no threat, the inquest in Belfast found.

Coroner Judge David McFarland said: "No shot should have been fired unless an identified target could be made out and aimed at with sufficient confidence of striking the person.

"The use of force by the soldier that caused the death of Marian Brown, whoever he was, was not justified."

The coroner, in a preliminary ruling, said the military fire was in defence of themselves or others.

He said soldiers may have been firing at a gunman in a car and missed.

"It is more likely than not that one of the soldiers' rounds caused her death, either through a direct hit or a ricochet off the walls."

He said the investigation into the death was "inadequate".

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