Soldier compensation decision

The family of a solder from Wythenshawe who died when his armoured vehicle was attacked in Iraq, will learn today if they have won the right to compensation.

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'It's going to be a long fight but we have got to do it'

Relatives of the soldiers killed in Iraq said they believed they still had "a long hard fight" ahead of them after they won a fight for the right to sue, but said were ready to battle for compensation.

Susan Smith, mother of Private Phillip Hewett, and Colin Redpath, father of Lance Corporal Kirk Redpath outside the UK Supreme Court Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Pte Hewett's mother, Sue Smith, 51, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, said: "They can no longer treat soldiers as sub-human with no rights. It's been a long fight but it's absolutely brilliant. Now serving soldiers have got human rights."

She added: "What we have done here will make a difference to a lot of people."

L/Cpl Redpath's father, Colin Redpath, 57, of Hornchurch, Essex, said: "Hopefully this will help our armed forces' safety in future combat zones. The Ministry of Defence has got a duty to supply the right equipment. Now that has been established."

He added: "It's probably going to be a long hard fight from now on. But we have got to do it."


  1. National

Hammond 'concerned at wider implications' of ruling

The Defence Secretary has said that he is "concerned about the wider implications" of the Supreme Court ruling which has allowed families of servicemen killed in Iraq to sue the Government for damages.

Our thoughts remain with those who were injured and the families of those who sadly lost their lives.

The most important priority is the protection of our troops and since this litigation started a wide range of protected vehicles including Mastiff, Ridgeback, Husky, Wolfhound, Jackal and Foxhound, have been available to commanders to match the most appropriate available vehicle to specific tasks based on the assessment of the operational risk.

I welcome the fact that the Court has upheld the principle of the doctrine of combat immunity, albeit suggesting that it should be interpreted narrowly.

However, I am very concerned at the wider implications of this judgment, which could ultimately make it more difficult for our troops to carry out operations and potentially throws open a wide range of military decisions to the uncertainty of litigation.

We will continue to make this point in future legal proceedings as it can't be right that troops on operations have to put the ECHR ahead of what is operationally vital to protect our national security.

– Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary


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