Soldiers 'face charges' over RTR sergeant's death

#1
Another tragedy unfolds.................................

Soldiers 'face charges' over sergeant's death

Press Association
Monday June 28, 2004

Four British servicemen could face charges of unlawful killing over the death of a British tank commander in Iraq, after a lengthy investigation determined he was the victim of "friendly fire", it was reported yesterday.
Sergeant Steven Roberts was the first British soldier to die in action in Iraq. His death prompted controversy after it emerged he had been told to give up plates of body armour that could have saved his life, because there were not enough to go round.

An unnamed "senior source within the MoD" told the Scotland on Sunday newspaper that inquiries by the Army Prosecuting Authority (APA) had established that the rounds which killed Sgt Roberts came from a British Challenger II tank.

The crew of the tank, from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, will be told shortly whether they will face criminal charges over the incident, the source told the newspaper. If so, it is expected they will face trial before a military court martial.

The Ministry of Defence said today that it was unable to confirm whether any charges were imminent or discuss the findings of the APA investigation.

A spokesman said: "The case work is currently with the Army Prosecuting Authority and we can't pre-empt them ... We think that there will be an announcement in the next couple of weeks."

The armed forces minister, Adam Ingram, told Scotland on Sunday: "As the findings are now subject to legal consideration, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

Sgt Roberts's widow Samantha, who has fought a campaign to establish the truth about her husband's death, said she had not been informed that prosecutions were on the cards.

She said it would be "unusual" for the MoD to allow such information to reach the public realm before informing her, as they had kept her well informed in recent months. Today the MoD insisted she would be kept informed.

Mrs Roberts, from Shipley, West Yorkshire, declined to comment on any legal action until she had details of the case. But she said: "When all is said and done, he died because he didn't have his body armour, no matter who fired the shot."

Sgt Roberts was shot in March 2003 when trying to quell a riot in Az Zubayr, near Basra, within days of the start of the conflict.

An internal MoD report later established that he would have survived if he had been wearing ceramic plates inside his flak jacket. He had been issued with the plates, but gave them up to another soldier because his regiment did not have enough for everyone.

Yesterday's reports suggest that it has now been established that the bullets that hit Sgt Roberts and an Iraqi man standing by him came from the 7.62mm guns fitted on Challengers.

The unnamed MoD source was quoted as saying: "We are prepared for charges to be confirmed in the next fortnight. This has looked inevitable for quite a while, since it first became clear that he could not have been killed by any weapon normally seen on the streets in Iraq. It is inconceivable that the APA could have come up with any other recommendation."

Liberal Democrat MP Paul Tyler, whose North Cornwall constituency includes Sgt Roberts's family home, said that any prosecution should not be allowed to divert attention from the more important issue of the failure to supply him with essential protective gear.

Mr Tyler said: "When I took Mrs Samantha Roberts and other members of his family to meet Geoff Hoon, the secretary of state, as long ago as January 19, we made it clear that the crucial issue was the failure to ensure that Sgt Roberts was properly equipped with life-saving body armour.

"Who fired the shots is far less important than the failures which made those shots fatal."

He added: "I know that Sgt Roberts's family are determined that the absence of enhanced combat body armour, which we now know to have been the crucial factor, should not be swept under the ministry carpet.

"For his army colleagues to be placed in this position while ministers evade responsibility is hardly likely to improve morale, or to reassure service families.

"I shall be pressing Mr Hoon to fulfil his promise to meet us again once all the facts are known - and to accept once and for all his personal responsibility for the failures that led to Sgt Roberts's death."
 
#2
Hmmm... just another smoke and mirrors stunt to get the public to focus on the soldiers who fired the shot...rather than looking into the issues that his wife had publicly raised regarding body armour (or lack of it)

Tut tut
 
#3
After all the spin coming from number 10, I was still suprised they could do this.

Its shocking that they are trying to turn the blame onto 4 soldiers fighting a battle.
 
#4
Utterly disgusting, but highly predictable. Is what the government mean when they talk about people taking responsibility - the guys on the ground are responsible, the tw*ts at the top escape? Presumably if these guys are prosecuted we can at least look forward to Hoon's resignation.....

Will they be pressing for the Septics who shot down the Tornado, and all the others involved in blue-on-blues, to now be prosecuted?
 
#5
The unnamed MoD source was quoted as saying: "We are prepared for charges to be confirmed in the next fortnight. This has looked inevitable for quite a while, since it first became clear that he could not have been killed by any weapon normally seen on the streets in Iraq. It is inconceivable that the APA could have come up with any other recommendation."
faceless people making statements!! p1sses me off :( if your gonna squeal to journo's have the balls to use your name!
 
#6
and why squeal to Scotland on Sunday for f**ks sake! Was it whingin ingram himself? Pretty disgraceful to not bother informing the widow first
 
#7
I thought I'd seen it all
 
#8
Ozgerbobble said:
Another tragedy unfolds.................................

Soldiers 'face charges' over sergeant's death

Press Association
Monday June 28, 2004

Four British servicemen could face charges of unlawful killing over the death of a British tank commander in Iraq, after a lengthy investigation determined he was the victim of "friendly fire", it was reported yesterday.
Sergeant Steven Roberts was the first British soldier to die in action in Iraq. His death prompted controversy after it emerged he had been told to give up plates of body armour that could have saved his life, because there were not enough to go round.

An unnamed "senior source within the MoD" told the Scotland on Sunday newspaper that inquiries by the Army Prosecuting Authority (APA) had established that the rounds which killed Sgt Roberts came from a British Challenger II tank.

The crew of the tank, from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, will be told shortly whether they will face criminal charges over the incident, the source told the newspaper. If so, it is expected they will face trial before a military court martial.

The Ministry of Defence said today that it was unable to confirm whether any charges were imminent or discuss the findings of the APA investigation.

A spokesman said: "The case work is currently with the Army Prosecuting Authority and we can't pre-empt them ... We think that there will be an announcement in the next couple of weeks."

The armed forces minister, Adam Ingram, told Scotland on Sunday: "As the findings are now subject to legal consideration, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

Sgt Roberts's widow Samantha, who has fought a campaign to establish the truth about her husband's death, said she had not been informed that prosecutions were on the cards.

She said it would be "unusual" for the MoD to allow such information to reach the public realm before informing her, as they had kept her well informed in recent months. Today the MoD insisted she would be kept informed.

Mrs Roberts, from Shipley, West Yorkshire, declined to comment on any legal action until she had details of the case. But she said: "When all is said and done, he died because he didn't have his body armour, no matter who fired the shot."

Sgt Roberts was shot in March 2003 when trying to quell a riot in Az Zubayr, near Basra, within days of the start of the conflict.

An internal MoD report later established that he would have survived if he had been wearing ceramic plates inside his flak jacket. He had been issued with the plates, but gave them up to another soldier because his regiment did not have enough for everyone.

Yesterday's reports suggest that it has now been established that the bullets that hit Sgt Roberts and an Iraqi man standing by him came from the 7.62mm guns fitted on Challengers.

The unnamed MoD source was quoted as saying: "We are prepared for charges to be confirmed in the next fortnight. This has looked inevitable for quite a while, since it first became clear that he could not have been killed by any weapon normally seen on the streets in Iraq. It is inconceivable that the APA could have come up with any other recommendation."

Liberal Democrat MP Paul Tyler, whose North Cornwall constituency includes Sgt Roberts's family home, said that any prosecution should not be allowed to divert attention from the more important issue of the failure to supply him with essential protective gear.

Mr Tyler said: "When I took Mrs Samantha Roberts and other members of his family to meet Geoff Hoon, the secretary of state, as long ago as January 19, we made it clear that the crucial issue was the failure to ensure that Sgt Roberts was properly equipped with life-saving body armour.

"Who fired the shots is far less important than the failures which made those shots fatal."

He added: "I know that Sgt Roberts's family are determined that the absence of enhanced combat body armour, which we now know to have been the crucial factor, should not be swept under the ministry carpet.

"For his army colleagues to be placed in this position while ministers evade responsibility is hardly likely to improve morale, or to reassure service families.

"I shall be pressing Mr Hoon to fulfil his promise to meet us again once all the facts are known - and to accept once and for all his personal responsibility for the failures that led to Sgt Roberts's death."
Sorry didn't mean to quote the whole lot but the blonde highlights are playing havoic with this computer. Just 1 question which 7.92 gun are they on about :?: :? :? :? Glad they mentioned the calibre though :? :?
 
#9
easesprings said:
Sorry didn't mean to quote the whole lot but the blonde highlights are playing havoic with this computer. Just 1 question which 7.92 gun are they on about :?: :? :? :? Glad they mentioned the calibre though :? :?
Presume they're taking about the co-axial gun. Interestingly enough the Scotsman reported 26/06/04 that a Blackwatch Sgt was cleared on appeal of negligance after an incident in Iraq where one of his colleagues lost a leg after being hit by fire from the co-axial of a Warrior. The Sgt argued, and now has expert backing, that the chain gun can fire 'un demanded'
Is the same type fitted to the Challenger ?
Bit feckin scary if your gats can decide to fire themselves off,me thinks. 8O



Ubique tu bastardo !!!
 
#11
easesprings said:
Ozgerbobble said:
Yesterday's reports suggest that it has now been established that the bullets that hit Sgt Roberts and an Iraqi man standing by him came from the 7.62mm guns fitted on Challengers.
the blonde highlights are playing havoc with this computer. Just 1 question which 7.92 gun are they on about :?: :? :? :? Glad they mentioned the calibre though :? :?
:?: :?:
 
#12
Auld_Sapper said:
easesprings said:
Sorry didn't mean to quote the whole lot but the blonde highlights are playing havoic with this computer. Just 1 question which 7.92 gun are they on about :?: :? :? :? Glad they mentioned the calibre though :? :?
Presume they're taking about the co-axial gun. Interestingly enough the Scotsman reported 26/06/04 that a Blackwatch Sgt was cleared on appeal of negligance after an incident in Iraq where one of his colleagues lost a leg after being hit by fire from the co-axial of a Warrior. The Sgt argued, and now has expert backing, that the chain gun can fire 'un demanded'
Is the same type fitted to the Challenger ?
Bit feckin scary if your gats can decide to fire themselves off,me thinks. 8O



Ubique tu bastardo !!!
Well if it was the Co-Axial no-one would stand a chance body armour or not with the amount of lead that can spit out in a minute. You may stand a slightly better chance by the Air Defence gun but not much.
 
#13
Doesn't surprise me that the wa'nkers from No 10 will think up this stunt to take the focus away from them. As stated earlier, will we bring forward prosecution on other "blue-on-blue" incidents? Will anybody at the top fall on their sword for lack of kit? Will anybody admit to having a ficking spine in MoD? :evil:
 
#14
dui-lai said:
Doesn't surprise me that the wa'nkers from No 10 will think up this stunt to take the focus away from them. As stated earlier, will we bring forward prosecution on other "blue-on-blue" incidents? Will anybody at the top fall on their sword for lack of kit? Will anybody admit to having a ficking spine in MoD? :evil:
Are they going to bring to justice, then the Spam that blew up put the armoured vehicles with his A10 :twisted: :? :twisted: :? :twisted:
 
#15
dui-lai said:
Doesn't surprise me that the wa'nkers from No 10 will think up this stunt to take the focus away from them. As stated earlier, will we bring forward prosecution on other "blue-on-blue" incidents? Will anybody at the top fall on their sword for lack of kit? Will anybody admit to having a ficking spine in MoD? :evil:
A SPINE .....hahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahah
yeah , good one , the MOD is the land that spines forgot mate , no chance , plenty of f**king umbrellas going up all the time though. :evil: :evil: :evil:
 
#16
the thing that puzzles me is that I thought he just suffered one round in the chest.........doesnt sound like a burst of coax unless the spread was all over the place
 
#17
We 'd all like to know if charges were brought against the americans involved in blue on blue incidents with uk forces anyone know how this could be done?
 
#18
I'm just curious why the government have chosen the criminal courts as the proper forum to investigate this.

I find it really hard to believe another C2 decided they really wanted Sgt Roberts dead, and took steps to ensure that. There may have been an honest mistake, or a system failure, but I find it hard to believe that there was British malice involved in his death. I seem to recall a Scots DG blue on blue which involved some deaths, are we going to see criminal charges for that?

We see this all the time in medicine, mistakes and system errors become the responsibility of one person, who suddenly finds themselves on a manslaughter charge. There needs to be an inquiry into the events, and the systems surrounding them. Faulty systems need to be changed, those responsible for them punished, and individuals only blamed if it is proved they were grossly negligent or malicious.

It's ridiculous blaming a ninteen year old tankie for a mistake in the heat of battle, and expecting him to justify it in court a year later. Much better to investigate cooly, and then make sure it can't happen again. But that might require the top levels to accept their role in this tradgedy, and that's knighthood endangering. For example, lack of body armour, lack of a proper IFF system, lack of an IVIS similar to the septics. I could go on, but the real errors were most likely to have been made at a much higher level than troop, and that's where the blame must fall, to stop this happening again.
 
#19
DrDeath - good post.

I think we must also accept that occasionally there will be tragic accidents. This certainly seems to be the default finding in every case involving US forces who kill and wound UK forces.

Care must also be taken to ensure that the PC/H&S mentality does not encroach so far that our troops hesitate before engaging enemy forces, perhaps with tragic results.

No matter how hard I look at this, I still see the morally corrupt politicians of New Labour bleating from on high about responsibility, whilst conspicuously failing to take it themselves.

Let us not forget the kicking New Labour took in the recent local and euro-elections - there is a General Election next and this could well be another cynical attempt to stir up some of the support they've lost amongst the lefty soap-dodgers and muslim voters.
 
#20
DrDeath said:
I'm just curious why the government have chosen the criminal courts as the proper forum to investigate this.

I find it really hard to believe another C2 decided they really wanted Sgt Roberts dead, and took steps to ensure that. There may have been an honest mistake, or a system failure, but I find it hard to believe that there was British malice involved in his death. I seem to recall a Scots DG blue on blue which involved some deaths, are we going to see criminal charges for that?

The Scots DG blue-on-blue happened at night in the middle of a confused firefight up by Bridge Four on the Basra canal. It was a tragic accident in the heat of battle. These things, unfortunately, have always been part of war. The way this gfovernment's going, no one will open up at all for fear of prosecution. And that, in the same heat of battle, will get a lot more people killed. :twisted:
 

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