Is there a route that bikers are taking right now? 

Today’s journey to Plymouth will see bikers join the Dennis Hutchings Cortege. They met at Gordano services at Junction 19 on the M5 near Bristol. Rolling Thunder UK is organizing the 110-miler. Here are some rough timings:

  • M5 J19 Gordano Services 8.45 am
  • M5 J21 Weston Super Mare9am
  • M5 J22 Burnham at Sea9.10 am
  • M5 J23 Bridgwater9.15 a.m.
  • Services for M5 Taunton Deane 9.30 am
  • M5 Sampford Peveril J279:40 AM
  • A380 Shell, Telegraph Hill10:15am
  • A38 Tesco Lee Mill(Arrival: 10.30 am)
  • A38 Tesco Lee Mill(Depart) 11.15 a.m.
  • The A38 Coypool Retail Park(RV 12pm
  • St Andrew’s Church 12.30pm

Today will be the Northern Ireland Veteran Dennis Hutchings’ funeral. Bikers are expected to participate in the procession, while serving British Army Soldiers will transport his coffin.

Mr Hutchings died in Belfast after contracting Covid-19 while he was due to face trial in the city over a fatal shooting incident in County Tyrone in 1974.

On October 18th, the veteran died alone at 80. Unionist politicians raised concerns about whether the case against him was allowed to continue.

Today, the funeral of the ex-member of the Life Guards Regiment in Cornwall will begin at 1pm at St Andrew’s Church Plymouth.

Bikers will be joining the cortege as it travels to Plymouth. The rendezvous point is Marsh Mills to the east of Plymouth on A38 at 12pm.

The riders, organised by Rolling Thunder UK, will start their 110-mile journey at the Gordano services at junction 19 of the M5 near Bristol at 8.45am.

After passing the junctions of Weston Super Mare, Burnham on Sea, Bridgwater, and Taunton Deane services, the group will head south on the motorway before arriving at junction 27, Sampford Peveril around 9.40.

Then they will move on to the A380 or A38, which will transport them toward Plymouth via an east approach.

The family will meet at Marsh Mills and then proceed to the church. Flags can be used, but not speeches or political slogans.

This service will broadcast live on the internet for anyone who is unable to be there. 

Bikers are expected to join the cortege on its journey to Plymouth, with the rendezvous point at Marsh Mills, east of the port city on the A38, at 12pm. The church service begins at 1pm

The cortege will be joined by bikers on its trip to Plymouth. It will arrive at Marsh Mills east of Plymouth on the A38 at 12pm. At 1pm, the church service will begin

Dennis Hutchings waves as he arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast on October 4 this year

Dennis Hutchings makes waves when he arrives at Laganside Court, Belfast, on October 4, this year

Mr Hutchings (pictured in 1978) said he was determined to clear his name over the incident

Pictured in 1978, Mr Hutchings stated that he wanted to clean his name after the incident.

Following the service, Mr Hutchings’s relatives will go for a beer locally before heading back to Cawsand for an exclusive event.

Unionist politicians raised questions about Mr Hutchings’ death in Cawsand. 

Dennis Hutchings’ testimony that he had fired ‘air shot’ would be a great example of how he would have spoken to the jury.

Dennis Hutchings, a victim of a tragic shooting in County Tyrone back in 1974 was to be tried in Belfast.

An ex-member of the Life Guards Regiment in Cornwall, the former had pleaded not guilty for the attempted murder 27-year old John Pat Cunningham.

Cunningham, who was running from an Army Patrol across a field in Benburb in 1974, was killed.

According to people who knew him, he was a young man with a strong fear of the soldiers and had the mentality of a child.

The case of Mr Hutchings has been the center of attention for many years, as several other cases were filed against veterans over deaths that occurred during Northern Ireland’s Troubles.

Because Mr Hutchings was suffering from kidney disease, the court had only been sitting three days per week in order to allow him to receive dialysis between hearings.

Philip Barden, his solicitor, stated that Mr Hutchings would not have testified against him at the trial. He said that Mr Cunningham had shot ‘air shots’, and that he didn’t shoot Mr Cunningham.

For 26 years, Mr Hutchings served in the British Army. He saw action in five Northern Ireland tours during the Troubles.

Two times, the former corporal major was cleared of the attempted murder. The events occurred in the middle 1970s. Retired soldier is again charged with attempted murder, despite the absence of new evidence, witnesses or forensic leads.

While he was in Belfast to testify, he died at Mater Hospital. He was in poor health and the trial had already been rescheduled for three more weeks. 

He had pleaded innocent to the attempted assassination of John Pat Cunningham (27) 

Because Mr Hutchings was suffering from kidney disease, the court was only able to sit for him three times a week. He could then undergo dialysis between hearings.

Since then, the case of his son has been the focal point of media attention. A number of prosecutions have been filed against other veterans in connection with deaths during Northern Ireland’s Troubles.

Philip Barden of law firm Devonshires was his lawyer and he said that he had always wanted to clear his names.

Barden also demanded that the Government enact an Act of Limitations on Troubles Prosecutions in Northern Ireland. This should be called ‘Dennis’s Law’.

Barden stated that Mr Hutchings, had he given evidence in his trial, would not have claimed that Mr Cunningham was shot but rather that he fired ‘airshots’.

Mr Hutchings, who was in Belfast as part of the trial, died at Mater Hospital. The case was rescheduled for three weeks due to his health.

There were no initial plans to have regimental pallbearers at the funeral because they are not provided by the MoD for retiree service personnel, unless they request them.

But veterans are entitled to a regimental trumpeter – and his relatives lodged a formal request for members of his former regiment, the Life Guards, to attend.

On Wednesday last week, an Army spokesperson stated: “Mr Hutchings has served for many decades with great dignity and diligence. He is a man of courage. 

“His death is an personal tragedy for his loved ones, his regimental family, and his friends. We extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to those who knew him and took care of him.

The Army was approached informally to be a bearer party at the Friday October 29 funeral; this request was fulfilled according to policy.

The Army supported the request today, November 3, as a gesture of respect for Mr Hutchings’ service and family. 

“His old regiment will be a trumpeter and bearer party at his funeral.”

Family members have stated that all are invited to the service, but they have asked for no political messages. 

Mr Hutchings is pictured attending Royal Ascot with his partner of 25 years, Kim Devonshire

Pictured is Mr Hutchings and Kim Devonshire, his 25-year-old partner.

Mr Hutchings's supporters stand with a banner outside Belfast Crown Court on October 18

On October 18, Mr Hutchings’s supporters gathered to support him with a banner in front of Belfast Crown Court.

The family released a statement October 27, stating that they were aware of the overwhelming interest shown by those who attended Dennis’ funeral.

A Solicitor demands that ‘Dennis’s Law’ be implemented to stop historical prosecutions of veterans

After Dennis Hutchings, an Army veteran was killed in a murder trial, the solicitor representing Hutchings urged the Government not to prosecute veterans for historical crimes.

Philip Barden (the solicitor for Mr Hutchings) stated that he hoped the Government would now adopt a statute limiting Troubles prosecutions in Northern Ireland. This should be known by the name “Dennis” Law.

Devonshires law firm partner, Mr Barden added that he had the honor to care for Dennis Hutchings over a period of 10 years. He died on Monday. I had been there. Here is his final wish for me to speak on his behalf.

“I wish that the government will now pass a statute that limits the shameful persecution of Army veterans in Northern Ireland. Dennis’ Law is the name that should be given to this law, since it’s what he fought and sacrificed for.

The government announced in July plans to create a statute for limitations, which would eliminate all Troubles related prosecutions from April 1998. 

“The family is grateful for the support they have received over the years. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Plymouth in November 11th.

“All are welcomed. Flags can be used, banners not. Family members have requested that no banners, political slogans, or speeches be used on the occasion.

On October 19, the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service justified the decision not to charge Mr Hutchings for the shooting.

This happened as the Democratic Unionist Party leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, challenged the prosecution to show the evidence.

Michael Agnew was the deputy director for public prosecutions. He stated that “The PPS decision not to prosecute Mr Hutchings in connection with attempted murder stemmed from an impartial and independent assessment of the case.”

“The Test for Prosecution requires consideration of the evidence available to determine if there are reasonable prospects of conviction. If so, it must also be considered whether prosecution is in public interest.

“A review of an earlier no prosecution decision doesn’t require new evidence. However, this police investigation resulted into a file being submitted by the PPS that included some evidence previously unavailable.

“In the course the proceedings there were rulings made by High Court judges that Mr Hutchings’ evidence was sufficient and that proceedings weren’t an abuse of procedure.”

Agnew stated that the PPS had recognized concerns from some quarters about the decision not to prosecute.

The funeral will take place this afternoon from 1pm at St Andrew's Church in Plymouth, Devon

Funeral services will be held this afternoon at St Andrew’s Church, Plymouth, Devon.

British Army veteran Dennis Hutchings is pictured far right in this photo in Germany in 1960

Dennis Hutchings, a British Army Veteran is shown far right in the photo taken in Germany in 1960

He stated that he would send his deepest sympathy to the Hutchings family, friends and to acknowledge their loss.

Dennis Hutchings, Troubles Veteran, receives a military funeral 

Last week, the Ministry of Defence reacted to its refusal of Dennis Hutchings, a Troubles veteran, carrying his coffin.

Hutchings’ supporters, who were on trial in Belfast for a 1974 fatal shooting that resulted in his death, requested the Life Guards to be his pallbearers on Remembrance Day.

On November 1, MoD gave in to pressure and provided military pallbearers. They said Mr Hutchings had served with ‘great dignity, diligence, and courage’.

Initial requests for permission to Mr Hutchings’ former Major had been denied by officials.

But, Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, was a Scots Guards veteran and promised to “find out who stopped” the plans.

Johnny Mercer was the Conservative MP, who accompanied Mr Hutchings’ from Cornwall to Belfast to testify before The Daily Telegraph. He said: ‘It is a great news for Dennis Hutchings that the MoD will honor him in his death, as they did not in his life.

“He was an honest man who served Northern Ireland proudly.

John Hutchings (48), said his father John: “I’m absolutely overwhelmed and thrilled that the Life Guards provide these pallbearers.”

“However, if a crime is serious like attempted murder, prosecution will be generally in the public’s best interest.”

“Our thoughts are with John Pat Cunningham’s loved ones, who have been waiting for decades to see the due process happen.

Cunningham, who was running from an Army patrol in the field in Co Tyrone during 1974, was gunned down.

According to people who knew him, he was a young man with a strong fear of the soldiers and had the mentality of a child.

To the news of the passing of Mr Hutchings, his family stated that it is difficult times for their family and suggested that they be allowed to grieve.

“When it is appropriate, the family will reply in greater detail to the matters surrounding Dennis Hutchings’ prosecution,” they stated.

Johnny Mercer was a veteran minister who tweeted last month his sorrow at the passing of his friend.

Mr. Mercer, who accompanied Mr. Hutchings on several days during the trial, stated that he’remains fiercely patriotic of him.

Downing Street stated that the “tragic” case showed the difficulties of trying to pursue historical claims through the courts.

Official spokesperson for the Prime Minister said that he offered his condolences to Dennis Hutchings’ family, friends, and loved ones.

“The Ministry of Defence assisted Mr Hutchings through his trial by providing legal representation and pastoral support, and this will continue to be provided to his family.”

According to the spokesman, he said that ‘it is not my job to comment on court proceedings’. However, he added that “this tragic case” shows that criminal justice isn’t working broadly and that we have committed to creating new legislation that will bring more certainty to all communities, as well as the families and veterans of the victims.

The government announced in July plans to create a statute for limitations, which would eliminate all Troubles related prosecutions from April 1998.