Birmingham,The Stirrer, Black Country

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

MILITARY FAMILIES PLAN M.O.D. COURT ACTION

26-09-2007

Families of British soldiers killed in Iraq are planning legal action over the Ministry of Defence's continued use of Solihull-made "Snatch" Land Rovers in the conflict. The case is being led by Stirrer blogger Carol Jones, whose son John was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra.

It's estimated that between 20 and 30 of our troops have died because the £50,000 vehicles failed to give them sufficient protection - and John Jones was one of them.
Most of the "Snatches" in use in Iraq date back to the Northern Ireland conflict and they have long been the subject of controversy.

Although designed to withstand rifle fire, their composite fibreglass shell is hardly up to the job of fending off bombs - and that's precisely why they've been targeted by insurgents using IED's (improvised explosive devices).

Two years ago, Lieutenant-Colonel Nick Henderson of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards quit the Army after one of his Sergeants was killed in a "Snatch" vehicle.

Henderson's request for armoured Land Rovers had been rejected on the grounds that they were not as good "off road" - although they had been supplied to the Iraqi police.

In 2006, Defence Secretary Des Browne promised to review the use of "Snatches" but they remain in daily use.

Carol Jones says: "We are very suspicious of the "Snatch' vehicle. When a soldier is killed in one, we ask questions of the M.O.D but are always fobbed off. So some of the families of fallen soldiers who died as a result of being in a 'Snatch' wanted to know if we could get a solicitor to act on our behalf.

It took some doing but we have one now. But we want as much information about the Land Rover used in Iraq and Afghanistan to use as ammunition in court. Sue Smith, Pauline Hickey, myself and a few more need to know what the M.O.D are hiding."

She revealed that when her son John died, vital equipment was missing on the "Snatch" he died in, including first aid kit and the ECM or Electronic Counter Measure designed to identify bombs.

"There was no medical box on John's 'Snatch', as there were none to be had. There was no tracking device on the bonnet, and there were only two guns amongst 6 personnel. But it's the vehicle we are interested in.

"Even at John's inquest we could not get questions answered."

Carol reckons that one or two Stirrer readers might know more, especially those who work at Land Rover. Post any helpful observations on our Message Board, or if you want to pass on information in confidence send it to editor@thestirrer.com

Is The Land Rover "Snatch" suitable for its current role in Iraq and Afghanistan? Leave a comment on our Message Board.

Google

The Stirrer Forum

The Stirrer home

valid xhtml

©2006 - 2009 The Stirrer