From The Independent on Sunday in Britain:
I’ll sue MoD over my son’s death in Iraq, says mother
Phillip Hewett and two other soldiers died when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle in Basra in 2005. His mother tells the ‘IoS’ the Land Rover they were using was a ‘death trap’
By Martin Hodgson
Published: 04 February 2007
The mother of a soldier killed in Iraq plans to take legal action against the Ministry of Defence over its failure to protect combat troops with the right equipment.
Sue Smith, whose son Phillip Hewett was killed near Basra in July 2005, says military commanders are exposing soldiers to unnecessary danger by continuing to use ageing “Snatch” Land Rovers instead of armoured vehicles.
“I want them to accept that Snatch Land Rovers should not be used on patrol. These vehicles are death traps,” she said yesterday.
Pte Hewett died alongside 2nd Lt Richard Shearer and Pte Leon Spicer when the vehicle they were travelling in was hit by a roadside bomb near Amarah.
An inquest this week ruled that the three soldiers from the First Staffordshire Regiment were unlawfully killed, but the Army has refused to launch a board of inquiry into the circumstances of their deaths, which it describes as an unavoidable “accident”. …
Originally designed for use in riots in Northern Ireland, the Snatch was not designed to withstand powerful explosions, said Chris Foss, editor of Jane’s Fighting Vehicles.
“Snatch was developed for a specific role in Northern Ireland and it was adequate for the job, but was pretty obvious when it was deployed in Iraq that it was not enough,” he said.
From an interview with Ms Smith:
Susan Smith, the mother of Phillip Hewett, who died in Al Amarah in southern Iraq on July 16 this year, said: ‘I want the troops withdrawn immediately.
‘I believe the war was illegal. They have not proved to me it wasn’t.
‘If Blair and the government have nothing to hide, then why won’t they agree to the public inquiry we’re demanding?’
She added: ‘I hope people realise this war is still going on and something needs to be done.’
The British MoD refused to help a war veteran, who went on to kill four members of his family.