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Redcap’s mum launches fresh bid for justice

MILITARY MEMORIES ... Pat Long at home and, inset, with her son, Corporal Paul Long.

MILITARY MEMORIES ... Pat Long at home and, inset, with her son, Corporal Paul Long.

A GRIEVING mother has taken another step forward in her 10-year battle for justice over her soldier son’s death.

Corporal Paul Long, 24, from South Shields, was one of six Redcaps killed by a mob at a police station in Iraq in 2003.

Pat Long, 61, who now lives in Hebburn, has fought tirelessly for an independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding her eldest son’s death.

An inquest in 2006 was told the men were not properly equipped with communication devices and had a shortage of ammunition.

Last year, Mrs Long launched a bid for a judicial review, to decide whether or not there should be a public inquiry.

It was denied on the grounds that not enough new evidence had emerged. She has now lodged a fresh application for a judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Her case will be heard next year.

Mrs Long did not want to comment ahead of the hearing, but confirmed she had been “granted a day and a half in the Royal Courts of Justice on the nearest available date after March 1”.

It is understood Mrs Long, who has two other children, Byron, 29, and Maria, 39, has launched the legal action alone, while the families of the other soldiers consider their stance.

South Shields-born Corporal Simon Miller, 21, was also killed in the incident. The men had been training local Iraqi officers when the police station came under attack.

The inquest heard some of their bodies were found riddled with bullets, while others had marks that suggested they had been dragged, tied up or beaten with rifles.

The hearing was told they had not been equipped with satellite telephones to call for help, due to a shortage of supplies, despite a direct order that all units leaving base must carry one.

Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner recorded a narrative verdict of unlawful killing, saying the soldiers should have been better equipped, but their deaths could not have been avoided.

A number of inquiries have taken place into their deaths, but no one has ever been brought to justice.

In October 2011, two Iraqi men were cleared by Baghdad’s criminal court of murdering the Redcaps, due to lack of evidence.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said: “It would be inappropriate to comment ahead of any further legal proceedings.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazedu

 

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