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July 29, 2015

Friday, August 6, 2010

Danny Fitzsimmons - Former Member of UK Parachute Regiment to Stand Trial In Iraq

Peter Devine
August 04, 2010
Manchester Evening News
The Whitworth family of a former soldier facing trial in Iraq for shooting dead two men and wounding another are becoming increasingly concerned about his mental health.

Former para Danny Fitzsimons has been locked up in an Iraqi prison for the past 12 months.

At the weekend, Fitzsimons, a former member of the Parachute Regiment, turned mercenary, made a desperate plea for the British government to get him released from the jail and to be brought home.

Today, a judge is expected to determine the date when his trial will take place, but according to his stepmum Liz, the length of time it has taken has created major concerns for his father Eric and the rest of the family.

In an exclusive interview with the Rochdale Observer, his stepmum explained: "Eric is on anti-depressants with his GP because of the terrible conditions Danny is being held in, and it has all been a very, very stressful situation with no end in sight. Danny feels like he has been abandoned by the military. Some of the people who have been held in Iraqi prisons, and whom we have spoken with, have said they would rather face the death penalty than serve a life sentence in those conditions.

"Mentally, it must be a very, very tough for Danny because he is not being allowed outside, not getting adequate food and water and he is sharing a cell with 17 others who don't speak English, and we are very concerned. He is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and needs urgent treatment which he can only get back in the UK."

According to his stepmum Danny has lost two stone in weight since his incarceration began explaining: "We have seen photos of him and he looks very thin. Danny always used to keep himself fit and never had any weight to lose, so our fears are for his physical and mental health. The sooner this trial goes ahead the better because once that is over and done with it, it is then that the fight begins to bring him home."

Danny is facing trial, for allegedly shooting dead Briton Paul McGuigan and Australian Darren Hoare, both 37, and injuring a third man last August.

At the time of the offence Fitzsimons, and the two dead men, were working with firm ArmorGroup as private security guards in Baghdad. The deaths followed a drunken fight in which Fitzsimons claims self defence.

He told the Sunday Mirror that he killed his victims in self-defence as he battled terrible mental trauma from the nine years he spent serving in Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan.

Danny, 30, from Middleton, said: "I know my actions that night have caused a lot of pain to the relatives of the dead men. To their families and children I am truly sorry. I believe I need to be in a mental hospital in Britain and not in an inhumane dungeon in Baghdad. Many ex-soldiers like me are left to fight our demons alone.

"I stand little chance of a fair trial in Iraq and the psychiatric assessment here was a joke. Bring me home and let me get the help I so desperately need. I chose my life and stand by it but I don't believe I deserve to be left to rot. Please don't let me hang in Iraq."


Petition To The British Government:

This petition has been raised because of the British Governments failure to assist the repatriation of one of its own British Citizens who is presently facing the death penalty in Baghdad due to an unforeseen circumstance that lead to the death of two of his work colleagues.

We want the British Government to act and request that they do by repatriating Danny home for a fair and just trial

X Paratrooper Danny Fotzsimmons at the time of this incident was know to be suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) an illness suffered by many servicemen and women who have endured harsh warfare, this is entirely relevant to those service personnel who have served in and are serving in the areas of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Danny Fitzsimmons was a proud member of the British Paratroop Regiment, due to suffering from his PTSD he left the service of the regiment and undertook other duties with a Global Private Security Company, many x service personnel leaving the services undertake this type of employment due to their experience and professionalism.

Unfortunately, Danny Fitzsimmons reached a point in his life where his PTSD illness reached its climax. At the time of the event, Danny was probably not aware of his location, why he was there or what was happening. Due to the aggressive state of affairs between Danny and his colleagues, Danny probably slipped back in time to a period of warfare. This obviously pushed Denney over the edge and his natural defences kicked in resulting in the death of two of his colleagues.

This unfortunately resulted in the death of two of his colleagues, Danny in now facing the death penalty in Iraq, Danny is a British subject a British x serviceman who served his country with honour and pride, please do not let him down because he never did you.

Danny needs to return home to face a fair trial, a trial that will take into account the full circumstances of the events that unfolded that dreadful day, please don’t let him die in the hands of the Iraq justice system please sign the petition and show your full support.