New legal fight over death of young soldier
TOP judges are being asked to decide whether the family of a Tamworth soldier killed in Iraq can pursue damages claims against the Government.
Three Court of Appeal Judges have begun analysing compensation issues at a hearing in London – including the case of 21-year-old Tamworth soldier Phillip Hewett who was killed in July 2005 along with fellow Tamworth soldier Leon Spicer and their patrol commander.
The three were killed in a roadside bomb attack on a patrol of three armoured Snatch Land Rovers in the Al Amarah region.
Phillip Hewett's mother, Sue Smith, has joined a number of families of fallen soldiers who are backing fresh legal action.
In June last year, a High Court judge said that relatives could pursue claims on negligence grounds, but not seek compensation under human rights legislation.
Lawyers representing relatives and the MoD have lodged appeals against those decisions.
Speaking after last year's court hearing, Sue Smith said: "Phillip was at all times a British citizen and subject to the orders of his superiors, which is why he was in a Snatch Land Rover.
"He knew they were unsafe and he was scared for his life, but he was a true soldier, he obeyed orders and this cost him his life."