No Charges Over Death

#2
Effective equipment distribution definitely needs to be addressed. I brought this tragic incident up in a letter to my MP (Tory) a few weeks ago whilst also requesting a PQ into the claims that media personnel arriving in Iraq are automatically issued body armour. I'm still awaiting a response. Good job I'm not holding my breath. :roll:
 
#3
Some time ago I also brought up the matter of equipment distribution with my MP (Cabinet Minister), and received a waffly non-answer from Don Touhig.
 
#4
It grips my sh1t..........just because there was "insufficient evidence to institute criminal proceedings" doesn't mean that some-one wasn't morally accountable. If an army at war cannot perform its job because of logistical issues then the trail goes upwards and the buck stops at cabinet level imho. The SofS for Defence should have resigned.........I hate f*cking Labour so they should all resign...........


Rant finished....

Baggy out.......................
 
#5
Lord Goldsmith said that attempts by the head of the Royal Military Police Special Investigations Branch to re-open the case had been "resisted" by the 1st UK Armoured Division chain of command.

"I was concerned that the intervention by the chain of command, and the delays in the case, could have led defence lawyers raising abuse of process arguments had the soldiers been charged with criminal offences," he said.


It seems the AG only asked for an investigation by the Met, because the head of the SIB was getting the runaround from senior officers. Perhaps if the Army hierarchy had not been so obstructive, the soldiers involved might have been able to put this matter behind them long before now.
 
#6
I heard it on Radio 2 news(Only caught the tail end of the bullitin so excuse me if my facts are off.).They said the Soldier who fired the shot had his sight's adjusted for long range,One shot hit an Iraqi & another 2 hit the unfortunate Sgt.
 
#7
I personnally think that 1st UK Armd CoC had it right and this whole thing should have gone no further - they had reviewed the case and didn't see the need for SIB to be involved (defending their troops - good thing!). I don't see how 6 soldiers being put up for very serious charges for just doing there job has helped anybody at all. I admit that an initial investigation is these circumstances, i.e. a tragic accident, is always required but to re-open the case and for it to go as far as it did it outrageous.

There are real questions about kit issue, and not just in this instance, but what has that got to do with the charges aaginst 6 individuals? I'm very glad to hear that this particular case against the 6 has been stopped. It should have never have got this far. It shouldn't, however, cloud or misguide any future cases that may need to be addressed at a much higher level over real problems.

Rant over...

W_W
 
#8
Blue on Blue is tragic but when does it become criminal?

As I see it here are two elements to this case.

1. Plate issue was not up to war scale.
2. Sgt Roberts was shot and killed by Friendlies

Now point one is a disgrace that someone should be made accountable for.

Point two is a tragedy but unless there was criminal intent to kill Sgt Roberts, or criminal negligence in the discharge of weapons - what charges could be brought? How can it take so long to clear the guys?
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#9
Blue on blue doesn't necessarily mean that a criminal offence has occurred, but on such occasions there must be an invesitgation by the police in order to establish the facts of the case, which may identify the cause behind the death. Not to investigate such incidents is tantamount to neglect of duty and if the Head of the SIB was given the run around as it would appear then those behind it should be investigated for attempting to pervert the course of justice or obstruction at the least.

These matters are investigated not only to prove that foul play has occured, but also to prove that it has not.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#10
Booty said:
Lord Goldsmith said that attempts by the head of the Royal Military Police Special Investigations Branch to re-open the case had been "resisted" by the 1st UK Armoured Division chain of command.

"I was concerned that the intervention by the chain of command, and the delays in the case, could have led defence lawyers raising abuse of process arguments had the soldiers been charged with criminal offences," he said.


It seems the AG only asked for an investigation by the Met, because the head of the SIB was getting the runaround from senior officers. Perhaps if the Army hierarchy had not been so obstructive, the soldiers involved might have been able to put this matter behind them long before now.

Ignore the red herring of kit issue. Booty has hit the nail on the head.
 
#11
I don't know if we are allowed to discuss this case now that it is no longer going to court and I have no inside knowledge. But if the unfortunate Sgt Roberts was hit by a chain gun at point-blank range I doubt plates would have saved him. Personaly I feel that blue-on-blues are never acceptable but at the same time you will never be able to remove the risk of friendly fire. Also it's unrealistic to expect every soldier to have all the kit he is ever going to need all the time and then blame the govt. when they don't have it.

No disrespt meant to Sgt Roberts or his Regiment.
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#12
Lasalle said:
I don't know if we are allowed to discuss this case now that it is no longer going to court and I have no inside knowledge. But if the unfortunate Sgt Roberts was hit by a chain gun at point-blank range I doubt plates would have saved him. Personaly I feel that blue-on-blues are never acceptable but at the same time you will never be able to remove the risk of friendly fire. Also it's unrealistic to expect every soldier to have all the kit he is ever going to need all the time and then blame the govt. when they don't have it.

No disrespt meant to Sgt Roberts or his Regiment.
WRONG WRONG WRONG!! It is realistic to expect the right kit, at the right time, in the right place. The fact that the body armour might not have saved him is besides the point. He should have had it! End of subject.
 
#13
The fact that Sgt Roberts was ORDERED by his seniors to hand over his body armour to someone else beggars belief.If anything,The person that gave such a order has Sgt Roberts death on his concience, a fact that'll hopefully make the event happening again unlikly.
The supply chain should also bear some responsibility by ensuring that EVERY soldier has the correct level of kit inthe future.
Spike
 
#15
Lasalle said:
I don't know if we are allowed to discuss this case now that it is no longer going to court and I have no inside knowledge. But if the unfortunate Sgt Roberts was hit by a chain gun at point-blank range I doubt plates would have saved him. Personaly I feel that blue-on-blues are never acceptable but at the same time you will never be able to remove the risk of friendly fire. Also it's unrealistic to expect every soldier to have all the kit he is ever going to need all the time and then blame the govt. when they don't have it.

No disrespt meant to Sgt Roberts or his Regiment.
Why were they using a chain gun at such short range? Isnt that a bit over the top for one person?
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#16
We are missing the point here gents. The possible charges had nothing to do with blaming someone for Sgt R not having body armour. There was a suggestion that the Iraqi that was killed had been "executed" after he had been wounded by the chain gun.
 
#17
Radio 4 reported that now that the possibility of criminal charges being brought against soldiers had been dealt with, the way is now open for the family of Sgt Roberts to bring a civil case against MoD, if they so wish.
 
#18
Several posts refer to the lack of plates for CBA, and the need for accountability in this area.

Like others on TELIC who were ordered to handover their' CBA, I too would call for accountability all the way up to the SoS for Defence. Equally, the point at which commanders in theatre find that their' force is thousands of sets of CBA short, they are left in an impossible position of having to do the best that they can, with the men and limited resources available to them, or tell HMG that we cannot commence our mission.

The accidental shooting of Sgt Steve Roberts, is acknowledged by everyone as a tragic incident. The conjecture on this forum, within the military and the media, as to whether he would / would not have been saved by his CBA (had he not been ordered to hand it over) is academic. The soldier is sadly dead. However, the fact remains that Steve could have possibly survived the incident, if he'd had CBA available to him. Who knows, had he not had to handover his CBA, he may well have returned to his family as a "very, very lucky man". Instead, the systematic failings of the procurement and logistics chain resulted in a situation that many would view as inevitable.

I cannot comment on the investigation / involvement of the CoC, but feel that the issue of kit shortages on TELIC should be addressed robustly. The First Reflections" document on TELIC, mentions minor shortfalls in kit. Possibly, the authors of such statements might like to calculate the cost of the investigations into this incident alone, the moral of those involved and the public's perception of how well our government not only equips it's fighting men, but also how well we treat the families' of soldiers killed in such circumstances.

Lastly, the pressure that this tragic incident has bought on Steve’s widow, Samantha has been compounded by the CBA issue. Samantha has remained dignified throughout the last three years, in her quest for information, and I hope that she gains some comfort from the vast majority of posts here.

R.I.P Steve
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#19
The failure to get CBA was not a failure of the logisitc or procurement chain. It was the duplicitous nature of the Government of the day not to allow the military system to start to prepare for potential operations in Iraq well enough in advance, when Blair would have known full well that the US were full steam ahead for an invasion.

There were plenty of things that 1 Div could have been doing in late 2002 to get ready for what they might have had to do, but were constantly thwarted by no one wanting to dare mention the "I Word" in case it compromised "the political process"
 
#20
Booty said:
Lord Goldsmith said that attempts by the head of the Royal Military Police Special Investigations Branch to re-open the case had been "resisted" by the 1st UK Armoured Division chain of command.

"I was concerned that the intervention by the chain of command, and the delays in the case, could have led defence lawyers raising abuse of process arguments had the soldiers been charged with criminal offences," he said.


It seems the AG only asked for an investigation by the Met, because the head of the SIB was getting the runaround from senior officers. Perhaps if the Army hierarchy had not been so obstructive, the soldiers involved might have been able to put this matter behind them long before now.
I agree entirely.

What is good news for us all is that 11 incidents and the corresponding cases have now been looked at by the CPS et al and the ensuing decision has been to not bring charges. This underlines the professionalism of the soldiers on the ground that although their incident is being looked at 24 months down the line the decision to give them the benefit of reasonable doubt is excellent.

I do not understand why the decision was made to delay or obstruct the SIB investigations. They are essential to us all to show that we are whiter than white. The new Armed Forces Bill will enshrine the independance of the Service Police and that is essential if we are to avoid delay such has occurred here. I hope the soldiers involved are able to put it all to one side and crack on.
 

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