1. ITV Report

Family of Colchester-based Red Cap to sue over death

The family of an Army Red Cap killed by an Iraqi mob are suing the Ministry of Defence for negligence.

Corporal Russell Aston, 30, was killed alongside five other Royal Military Police officers, based in Colchester, in Iraq in June 2003.

His family have now launched legal action against the MoD for negligence, following a landmark ruling at the Supreme Court last month.

(l-r) Sgt Simon Alexander Hamilton-Jewell, Corporal Russell Aston, Corporal Paul Graham Long, from Colchester. Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images
(l-r) Corporal Simon Miller, Lance-Corporal Benjamin John McGowan Hyde, and Lance-Corporal Thomas Richard Keys, from Bala Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Today it emerged that lawyers for the family of Cpl Aston, who was from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, have launched a legal claim alleging that commanders failed to take reasonable measures to keep him and his fellow military police officers safe.

It claims the MoD was negligent because the Red Caps were not supplied with sufficient ammunition to defend themselves, or roadworthy vehicles or effective communications.

It is expected that families of the other Red Caps who died in the incident will join the legal action, the lawyer for the Aston family said today.

The other five RMP officers were Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell, 41, from Chessington, Surrey; Corporal Paul Long, 24, of South Shields, Tyne and Wear; Lance Corporal Benjamin McGowan Hyde, 23, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire; Lance Corporal Tom Keys, 20, from Bala, North Wales; and Corporal Simon Miller, 21, from Washington, Tyne and Wear.

An MoD spokesman said today: "Our thoughts remain with the families of those who lost their lives in this incident.

"However, it would be inappropriate to comment on any forthcoming legal proceedings."