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  1. ITV Report

'Unlawful killing' verdict for security contractor shot in Iraq

Paul McGuigan. Photo:

A security contractor who was shot by his colleague in Iraq was "unlawfully killed", an inquest today declared.

Paul McGuigan and Darren Hoare, another security guard, were shot in 2009.

Danny Fitzsimons, 31, was found guilty of the two murders in 2011. He was sentenced to 20 years in an Iraqi prison.

Danny Fitzsimons

Paul McGuigan's mother, Corinne Boyd-Russell, who lives in Innerleithen, says she believes the company who employed the men, G4S, is equally culpable.

Danny Fitzsimons murdered my son, but G4S put the gun in his hand."

– Corinne Boyd-Russell, Paul McGuigan's mother

She says G4S should never have cleared Fitzsimons to work in Iraq.

The inquest has heard he was discharged from the army for misconduct and drugs, and was already showing signs of post traumatic stress disorder.

He faked his medical records and concealed his criminal history, and returned to Iraq to work for G4S in 2009.

Emails sent to G4S warned the company that he was abusing steroids, cocaine and cannabis.

One read: "I am alarmed that he will shortly be allowed to handle a weapon... I am speaking out because I feel that people should not be put at risk."

Another email says: "I have told you that he remains a threat, and you have done nothing."

Within hours of arriving in Iraq, Fitzsimons was drunk, and he opened fire after a fight, killing Paul McGuigan and Darren Hoare.

G4S has release the following statement:

The death of Paul McGuigan came as a profound shock to G4S. Paul McGuigan was a son, a partner, a father and a colleague, and G4S extends its sincerest sympathies to his family for the anguish they have suffered as a result of his loss.

Industry standards for the recruitment of private security operators in high-threat environments have advanced significantly in the years following this tragic incident. G4S has played a key role in promoting those changes.

G4S takes the safety of our employees and the people in our care extremely seriously and we operate rigorous recruitment processes. We will continue to advocate for the adoption of the highest possible industry standards in the screening and vetting for armed security roles."

– G4S