1. ITV Report

Relatives of Staffordshire soldiers secure victory in compensation fight

A picture of Philip Hewett who served with the 1st Staffords in Iraq and was killed on 16th July 2005 Photo: PA

The relatives of two soldiers from Staffordshire, who were killed in Iraq, have secured a victory in their compensation fight with ministers.

The Court of Appeal ruled today in London that the families of Corporal Stephen Allbutt and Private Phillip Hewett could pursue damages claims against the Government.

According to the family, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) failed to provide equipment which could have saved their lives, and should therefore pay compensation.

Whereas the MoD claimed that decisions about battlefield equipment are for politicians and military commanders.

After a long legal battle, which started in 2003, judges ruled the families could pursue claims on grounds of negligence.

Thirty-five-year-old Corporal Stephen Allbutt, from Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, was killed in a "friendly fire" incident in March 2003.

And Private Phillip Hewett, aged 21, from Tamworth in Staffordshire, died two years later after a Snatch Land Rover was blown up.

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