Shivers cleared of Massereene murders

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A MAGHERAFELT man has been acquitted of murdering two soldiers outside Massereene Army barracks.

Brian Shivers (47) from Sperrin Mews in the town, had denied all involvement in the gun attack outside the barracks in Antrim in which sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, and Patrick Azimkar, 21, died.

Two other soldiers and two pizza delivery men were seriously injured in the shooting in March 2009.

Judge Mr Justice Donnell Deeny delivered his reserved judgment after the non-jury retrial at Belfast Crown Court.

Sappers Quinsey, from Birmingham, and Azimkar, from London, were shot by two masked gunmen as they collected pizzas outside the gates of the barracks on March 7 2009.

The soldiers, from 38 Engineer Regiment, were just hours away from deploying to Afghanistan and were already dressed in their desert fatigues.

The prosecution case against the defendant was based on DNA evidence found on matchsticks and a mobile phone in and around the abandoned, partially burned-out getaway vehicle used in the attack.

But the defence insisted that the genetic traces did not prove he was involved on the night of the shootings.