GENTLE CONSIDERS ACTION AGAINST MoD

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Rose Gentle (centre) leading a march in February this year demanding withdrawal of British troops from Iraq
Rose Gentle (centre) leading a march in February this year demanding withdrawal of British troops from Iraq

An Oxfordshire coroner yesterday ruled that an Army logistics failure led to the unlawful killing in Iraq of Gordon Gentle, 19, of the Royal Highland Fusiliers (RHF).

He was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra in June 2004.

Selena Lynch, assistant deputy coroner, said: ‘He died as a result of injuries caused by the explosion and was unlawfully killed.

‘It is probable that the device would not have been detonated if the escort had been equipped with an ECM, known as Element B (electronic disabling device).

‘The supply chain appeared to be chaotic and lacking in clarity.’

Gordon’s mother, Rose Gentle, said outside the court: ‘My son should be here today. They have deprived me of a beautiful son and deprived two sisters of their brother.

‘I’m proud of Gordon but I am disgusted at the way he was treated.’

She added that she was appalled by the way the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had behaved. ‘They have lied and covered up,’ she alleged.

Electronic counter measures (ECMs), known as Element B, were in theatre two weeks before Fusilier Gentle’s death.

However, due to what was described as a communications breakdown they were only fitted to his company’s vehicles just hours after he died, even though the store in which the kits were being held was about half a mile away.

Asked if she intended taking out a civil action, she said: ‘I’ll have to speak to my family, I’m not going to comment just now.

‘I’ve got to go back and speak to the two girls.’