THE mother of a South Tyneside soldier murdered in Iraq is set to launch a fresh legal bid for justice.
Corporal Paul Long, 24, and five other Military Policemen were killed when a 300-strong mob attacked them in a police station at Majar al-Kabir, Maysan, in southern Iraq, in June, 2003.
The young Redcaps, who had been training Iraqi officers, were tied up, beaten and dragged through the street before being killed.
But several probes, including an Army Board of Inquiry and an inquest, have failed to reveal the facts wanted by the soldiers’ families.
Pat Long, of Windsor Crescent, Hebburn, and the families of the other murdered soldiers have battled for justice for almost 10 years.
But despite a judge rejecting her request for a judicial review into the case last November, Ms Long has revealed she is now pursuing a fresh legal avenue on behalf of her son, Paul, and fellow Redcap 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.
Ms Long, 61, said: “We hope to take the case to the Supreme Court this summer, when it could become part of a bigger case involving other soldiers killed or maimed in Iraq.
“Our solicitor is looking into this on behalf of the families and our case could be heard in June.
“I’m doing this on behalf of my son and the other five families and this is not about money. We are not after compensation, but justice.”
But the cost of mounting a fresh challenge will be about £50,000 and Ms Long is planning a series of fundraising events to boost the legal fund, as part of the Justice for Heroes appeal.
To raise cash for the new legal bid, a charity night will be held at Hebburn Legion Club, in Mountbatten Avenue, Hebburn, at 7pm on Saturday.
Ms Long added: “We have a long way to go in terms of the legal fund, but we hope we can get the money together to have our case heard in the Supreme Court. We have to do this for Paul and the other soldiers and their families.”
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Eileen Leask, will be among the guests at Saturday’s fundraiser, plus several other borough councillors, including Coun Richard Porthouse, chairman of Hebburn community area forum.
Coun Porthouse said: “I have several family members in the forces and support Justice for Heroes and that’s why I’m attending the event. It was dreadful what happened to those soldiers.”
Rock band The Enzymes will perform at the event and about 130 tickets, costing £5, have already been sold.
Club chairman George Dowling said: “There has been a good response so far and we can hold up to 170 people.”
The fundraiser will include a raffle and bingo and people can pay at the door.