Dead soldier's mother's bid refused

Congleton Guardian: Corporal Paul Long was one of six Red Caps killed in an attack in Iraq
Corporal Paul Long was one of six Red Caps killed in an attack in Iraq

A mother whose son was killed by an armed mob in Iraq has lost a High Court bid for a new independent inquiry into his death.

Corporal Paul Long, 24, and other Royal Military Police (RMP) officers were sent to a police station in Majar-al-Kabir in south east Iraq to meet local police they had been tasked to develop when the station was surrounded and attacked.

At a recent High Court hearing, his mother Patricia Long stared at a photograph of her smiling son she was holding in her lap while judges in London were told he died on June 24 2003 with five Royal Military Police colleagues.

In denying her bid, the High Court judges said all they could decide was whether Mrs Long was owed a "right in law" to have another investigation.

They said: "We find she does not have such a right. We have held that the right of a soldier under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights to have his life protected by law does not include a right to be safeguarded from human error, including negligent error, in the conduct of military operations which result in the risk of death on active service being greater than it would otherwise have been."

Michael Fordham QC, for Mrs Long, who is from Hebburn, Tyne and Wear, had argued that all the formal inquiries so far, including an inquest, failed to get to the bottom of how mistakes that led to the deaths were made, and who was responsible for them.

The six Red Caps had been sent to the police station without an Iridium phone, which might have enabled them to call for help, said Mr Fordham.

This was despite a clear order that all patrols should be equipped with the phone.

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