Inquest told that British soldier was 'scared stiff' as he entered a house in Derry looking for an IRA man

Soldier said he believes he fired three shots on the night Kathleen Thompson was killed

Inquest resumes into death of Derry mother-of-six who was shot dead in 1971

Kathleen Thompson.

The inquest into the shooting of Kathleen Thompson in Derry in November 1971 has heard from a former soldier who said he fired three shots on the night in question. 

KTM72 was giving evidence today about how he was one of the party that entered a house in Rathlin Drive in order to carry out an arrest and search. 

The witness said three soldiers and himself entered the house accompanied by an RUC man. 

He said when the soldiers entered Creggan there were binlids being banged and whistles being blown. 

KTM72 said that while in the house one of his men heard a noise in the attic and he had to check out the attic. 

The witness said he was 'scared stiff' as he thought 'the IRA man we were looking for was there.' 

The inquest was told that nothing was found in the attic and that the whole search operation lasted around 17 to 20minutes. 

The former soldier said as he exited the house there was 'chaos' outside. 

The inquest was told KTM72 said he saw the muzzle flash of three or four shots from what he believed to have been a handgun. 

KTM72 said he fired 'three single shots' and another colleague fired two shots. 

The witness said he didn't think he hit anyone but did add that Kathleen Thompson may have 'got in the way.' 

The former soldier said he would have been interviewed by the Special Investigations Branch if someone had been shot and these would have been 'formal written statements.' 

Following the shooting he said they would have left the area 'as quickly as possible'. 

He said as they were withdrawing he heard shots from an SLR a British Army weapon and he believed Soldier D may have heard KTM72's shots. 

Hearing continues. 

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