The killing of IRA shot by a British soldier in 1972 in Derry in what was unjustified, a coroner has ruled.

The shooting of Seamus Bradley, 19, at Bishop's Field in the Creggan area of ​​Derry has long been a matter of dispute.

He was killed by a soldier from the Royal Scots Regiment on 31 July during Operation Motorman – an Army attempt to gain control of republican areas in Belfast and Derry that had previously been considered no-go zones for the security forces.

The army claim the teenager was shot while he was in a tree at Bishop's Field.

Soldiers alleged he had climbed the tree armed with a machine gun.

His family said he was sustained fatal injuries, including a broken neck, while being interrogated and tortured by soldiers.

The coroner, judge Patrick Kinney, rejected both those versions of events as he ruled at Belfast coroner's court.

He said he was satisfied Bradley was killed by a soldier who got out of a Saracen vehicle and opened fire, but added that he had not been able to confirm the soldier's identity.

He said that the IRA could have survived his injuries if he had been properly treated by soldiers and that he would send a report to the Northern Ireland's director of public prosecutions.

"I find that he has been referred to Seamus Bradley by the soldiers who collected him, and he was transported to hospital," he said.

Kinney added that Bradley posed no threat at the time and had sold the "Yellow Card" Rules of Operation in Opening Fire.

"Hey what's going on at open area of ​​ground. He had no weapon. He was clearly visible, he said. "As he was running, Army Saracen entered the same piece of ground. Almost immediately a soldier got out, and took out a position at Seamus Bradley.

Seamus Bradley was killed or seriously injured. "

He said there was no evidence the decision to fire was made "in the heat of the moment or under particular pressure".

"I am satisfied that the force used is more than absolutely necessary in the circumstances. I conclude that the use of force by the soldier was not justified. "

The coroner said there is no evidence to substantiate family claims of torture.

"There is no evidence of any ill treatment of Seamus Bradley according to the results of the autopsy and the evidence of all the pathologists. In particular there is no evidence of strangulation, a broken neck or the use of barbed wire. There's no evidence that Seamus Bradley was hung on Bishop's Field or that he was tortured at any stage. "

An original inquest in 1973 returned to open verdict. Northern Ireland's attorney general ordered a fresh inquest in 2013.

The coroner said the initial investigation of the shooting was "flawed and inadequate".

Outside the court Bradley's family welcomed the verdict.

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