Unlawful death verdict for Soldier killed in Afghanistan

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LE
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#1
http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/news/Troops-deserve-better/article-1151279-detail/article.html

I doubt this will have any impact on the equipment currently used, but interesting none the less.

THE father of a Westcountry soldier who died when his armoured Land Rover hit a landmine has pleaded for purpose-built vehicles to be supplied to troops in Afghanistan.

Ian Sadler's plea was made after a coroner called for the Government to review the use of light armoured vehicles and helicopters during a three-day inquest into the death of Mr Sadler's son Jack, 21, who was killed in Helmand province in December 2007.

Territorial Army Trooper Sadler, of Clyst St George, who had attended Exeter School and planned to train as an officer at Sandhurst, died of multiple injuries when his WMIK – Weapons Mount Installation Kit – vehicle was blown up.

It had hit a mine planted by the Taliban at a wadi, a dried up river bed, as an Army convoy headed towards Musa Qala.

Darren Salter, deputy coroner for Exeter and greater Devon, said he would be writing to the defence secretary to raise two issues regarding the use of light patrol vehicles to lead slow-moving convoys and the availability of helicopters to carry equipment.


He said he got the impression there were insufficient numbers of helicopters to allow equipment to be moved around and using them would allow convoys to be "smaller, faster and less vulnerable".

Tpr Sadler, of the Honourable Artillery Company, died on arrival by helicopter at a hospital at Camp Bastion. His father, 59, said he would have liked Mr Salter to have recommended to the Ministry of Defence that purpose-built vehicles capable of withstanding mines, rather than adapted Land Rovers, be provided to troops.

This is despite the deputy coroner handing a 1,000-word report to the MoD regarding his verdict that Tpr Sadler was unlawfully killed on active service.

Mr Sadler said: "I want them to provide purpose-built mine-protected patrol vehicles to the soldiers, not the adapted Land Rovers.

"Had my son been in a vehicle like those used by the Americans, for instance, he would be alive today.

"I am pleased with the verdict and now the MoD has to respond to the deputy coroner. I hope lessons have been learned which can only be good for the soldiers who follow Jack into conflict.

"I lived for Jack – he was my life. He was my only child and meant everything to me.

"I will have to manage without him, like all those other grieving families who have lost their sons. I hope that his death is not in vain."

The deputy coroner stressed the MoD was not negligent.

But he accepted the WMIK used at the time had no protection against mine blasts, though subsequent models had been strengthened.

He said the mine had exploded in what witnesses felt was a low-risk area.

"Trooper Sadler was thrown out of the vehicle, the second in the convoy, and the explosion was of exceptional force," he said.

"He was seriously injured and taken to hospital by helicopter.

"There may have been a delay but it was impossible to save his life. There was talk of the design of the body armour but this made no difference to the outcome."

Captain Tom Cardwell, the regiment's support officer, said in a statement following the inquest: "Trooper Sadler was keen, enthusiastic and loved the military life.

"While serving in Afghanistan he was a valued member of the Brigade Recce Force operating at the forefront of combat operations in Helmand.

"He was courageous, committed and professional, one whose loyalty, humour and determination to lead a life of military service stood out clearly. He desired to be among the best he could and to prove himself worthy of such company.

"His death was a bitter blow to his family and all of his friends and comrades who continue to remember him with fondness."

- See tomorrow's Western Morning News to read exclusive extracts from a book written by Ian Sadler in which he recorded his feelings from the moment he was told that his son Jack had been killed in Afghanistan, to fighting Ministry of Defence bureaucracy and arguing with Ministers in Whitehall.
 
#3
He's got a cob on cause his son died, though I can hardly blame him for that. Would he bother if it was anybody else's son?

It is a fact that soldiers die in battle. We can't wrap ourselves up in cotton wool completely.
 

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LE
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#4
Fallschirmjager said:
He's got a cob on cause his son died, though I can hardly blame him for that. Would he bother if it was anybody else's son?

It is a fact that soldiers die in battle. We can't wrap ourselves up in cotton wool completely.
I agree it is inevitable that there will be casualties in any conflict, but it is fairly interesting that the Coroner has delivered this verdict.
 
#5
I think people get a bit confused about these verdicts and the associated statements by Coroners. It is not the kit that makes it unlawful, it is the detonation of the IED.

This whole situation is becoming a bit daft, soldiers are being killed during operations and then it is being processed like a punch up in Hackney. What a waste of time and effort, no-one is ever going to be put on trial for these deaths.

This has all come about due to bodies being repatriated rather than buried in theatre.
 
#7
Jack Sadler was operating with the BRF. The whole nature of the job requires travelling light with a high degree of mobility. All the helicopters and Mastiffs in the world wouldn't have saved him because they would not have been right for the task, the best body armour in the world wouldn't have saved him, it's even unlikely that a Jackal would have saved him.
Sometimes it needs to be acknowledged that sometimes you just get unlucky.
 
#8
For the life of me I can't get to grips with these PMs and coroners verdicts. If it is a clear case of enemy action then that is it, you don't need a coroner to investigate surely. It is not the vehicles or the MODs fault. Would you have the same verdict if someone gets killed in a Chally? We can't get any more armoured than that. Our guys are getting killed due to enemy action whether you are dismounted or in the most heavily armoured vehicle. Its getting stupid, unlawful killing my ARRSE, why don't they go and arrest the Taliban. Then you have the same problem with giving the insurgents full protection under international law and idiots back home calling for investigations into human rights abuses against them. So it looks like they are affording them protection as a legitimate military force, to conclude it was not death due to unlawful means but to legitimate enemy action. Im confused.
 
#9
Drumbox said:
For the life of me I can't get to grips with these PMs and coroners verdicts. If it is a clear case of enemy action then that is it, you don't need a coroner to investigate surely. It is not the vehicles or the MODs fault. Would you have the same verdict if someone gets killed in a Chally? We can't get any more armoured than that. Our guys are getting killed due to enemy action whether you are dismounted or in the most heavily armoured vehicle. Its getting stupid, unlawful killing my ARRSE, why don't they go and arrest the Taliban. Then you have the same problem with giving the insurgents full protection under international law and idiots back home calling for investigations into human rights abuses against them. So it looks like they are affording them protection as a legitimate military force, to conclude it was not death due to unlawful means but to legitimate enemy action. Im confused.
Terrorism is NOT legitimate military action but effectively a war crime, by acknowledging our soldiers are being killed by a bunch of criminals, you underline the fact that these extermist scum have no legitimacy.

Do not ever make the mistake of giving these murdering terrorist vermin any succour. It is bad enough the media lables them "Insurgents" or "Militants" (As if they are on a picket line!). They are illegal combatants hence the correct verdict of unlawful killing.

They should hang.
 

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