Mum’s call for inquiry in son’s death

Michael Pritchard. ENGSUS00120120514152420
Michael Pritchard. ENGSUS00120120514152420

The mother of an Eastbourne soldier accidentally shot and killed by a British sniper in Afghanistan says there are many unanswered questions over her son’s death and is calling for a public inquiry.

Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard, of the 4th Regiment, Royal Military Police, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest and abdomen – fired by a fellow British soldier who thought the 22-year-old was an insurgent laying IEDs.

Mr Pritchard’s mother Helen Perry said only a full public inquiry would answer questions still being asked by the families of those lost and injured and also said the Military had still not apologised for her son’s death in 2009.

“There are many unanswered questions for us and many more families as a result of our involvement in Afghanistan,” said Mrs Perry, “and therefore there should be a full public inquiry and answers to our questions should be forthcoming with fair and honest answers to everything we need to know.

“In this day and age you can not send our loved ones to war and then expect us not to ask any questions. The war in Afghanistan will never be over for us and our loved ones.

“Sadly though, even now after almost five years on, the powers that be still have not apologised or taken any responsibility for the death of our Michael. Even the coroner, after a lengthy inquest, said that Michael’s death was avoidable and preventable, but still the military or Ministry of Defence refuse to apologise.

“This is the very least Michael deserves after serving his Queen and country. This is the thanks he gets. Our local MP made noises about supporting us in our quest for this apology but he has now strangely gone very quiet and we have heard nothing from him.

“I know our boy is one of many troops whose families find themselves in the same position, having to practically beg for the right thing to be done and for loved ones to be honoured in the right way. Surely its a basic case of human decency to say sorry. My son was a proud and capable Military Police officer loved and respected by all who knew him and as his Mum I’m extremely proud of him and everything he achieved and I fully supported him in his decisions in life. He was an outstanding young man in every respect.”