Paratrooper Lee Clegg was back in a Belfast court today for the opening of his appeal against a four year jail sentence arising out of the fatal shooting of two teenage "joy-riders" in 1990. Last March, 32-year-old Clegg was cleared at a re-trial of murdering Karen Reilly, but convicted of attempting to wound Martin Peake, who also died when soldiers opened fire on a stolen car on the Glen Road in West Belfast.

Sitting beside Clegg in the Appeal Court were his girlfriend, mother Wynn Johnson, and his commanding officer in the Parachute Regiment. Clegg was originally convicted in 1993 but was granted a re-trial after his new legal team presented a dossier of fresh ballistic evidence which persuaded then Ulster Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew to refer the case back to court. Clegg has been free on licence since July, 1995, and is now back in the Parachute Regiment.

The appeal, which is being heard by the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Robert Carswell, Lord Justice Nicholson and Mr Justice Gillen, is expected to last several days.