ABOUT 140 people supported a South Tyneside mother’s battle for justice for her murdered soldier son and fellow slain comrades.
Corporal Paul Long, 24, was killed alongside five other Military Policemen when they were attacked by a 300-strong mob in a police station at Majar al-Kabir, Maysan, in southern Iraq, in June, 2003.
The young Redcaps, who were training Iraqi officers at the time, were beaten and dragged through the street before being killed.
Cpl Long died with fellow soldiers, South Shields-born Cpl Simon Miller, from Washington; Sgt Simon Hamilton-Jewell, from Chessington; Cpl Russell Aston, from Swadlincote, Derbyshire; Lance Cpl Benjamin Hyde, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire; and Lance Cpl Tom Keys, from Bala, North Wales. However, several investigations into the murders, including an Army Board of Inquiry and an inquest, have failed to satisfy the families of the murdered Redcaps.
Now, Pat Long, of Windsor Crescent, Hebburn, is pursuing a fresh legal challenge on behalf of her son, Paul, and the families of his comrades killed in the attack.
The borough mum is hoping to pursue the fresh legal challenge at the Supreme Court this summer, when it could be included in a bigger case involving other soldiers killed or maimed in Iraq. A fundraiser for the new legal bid saw about 140 people attend a Justice for Heroes event at Hebburn Legion Club.
Mrs Long, 61, said: “It was a fantastic night. The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside came along, plus local councillors Richard Porthouse and Jim Sewell.
“The night raised £860 and our legal fund now stands at £1,264, which is a great start. I made a brief speech and told people about raising awareness of what happened to our boys and also why we need the funding and how we hope there’s going to be no more injustices to other British soldiers.
“Again, I want to stress that this campaign is not about money, but about gaining justice for Paul and his fellow soldiers who died.”
The Hebburn mum suffered a setback last November, after a judge rejected her request for a judicial review into the case.
Mrs Long, who was presented with a bouquet during the fundraiser, has thanked Gillian Holmes and Lesley and Gary Rowell for all their help in organising the event at the Hebburn club at the weekend.
She added: “Brenda, who runs The Kelly pub in Hebburn, has offered me a room for free and I’m certainly going to take her up on her offer. We will be organising more fundraising events. My message is: ‘watch this space.’ “
Anyone wishing to support Justice for Heroes should visit the website www.justiceforheroes.com.