The ex-paratrooper, identified only as Soldier F, was charged with murdering two people and the attempted murder of four others in what was an early turning point in the history of the Troubles, three decades of deadly sectarian unrest.
British troops opened fire on a civil rights demonstration in Derry, Northern Ireland's second city, killing 13 people on January 30, 1972. A 14th victim later died of his wounds.
Soldier F was one of 17 British veterans who had faced investigation, plus two alleged Irish Republican Army (IRA) paramilitaries, but he was the only one charged.
A 12-year public inquiry - the biggest investigation in UK legal history - concluded in 2010 that British paratroopers lost control and that none of the casualties had posed a serious threat. Police then launched a criminal investigation and handed files to Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service state prosecutors in November 2016.
Relatives of the victims were upset after learning that there would only be a prosecution over two of the deaths.
"The Bloody Sunday families are not finished yet," said John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother Michael was killed. He raised the prospect of a legal challenge against the decisions not to prosecute others. (AFP)