The story of Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard, killed by friendly sniper fire caught my attention on the BBC South news tonight. First is the strange fact that
Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard’s story update was good enough for the live news but there is no mention of it on the BBC South website, where I was looking for more background info on the death of Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard. I’m fast becoming disillusioned with the BBC coverage of some items. Last time was a lack of any thing on the poppy burning thing a few days ago.
Back to the story itself. Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard was killed while manning his post by one of our own snipers last December. It took 5 months before Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard’s parents were informed how he actually died. Today’s BBC South news reported that no one will be charged in connection with his death. Excuse me but shouldn’t a trained sniper be able to tell what he’s aiming at? He was given permission to shoot by his commanding officer. Shouldn’t this procedure, utilizing 2 people, have ensured that Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard was recognised as friendly? I thought that the enemy in Afghanistan didn’t wear any kind of western style military uniform.
Also reported was the fact that the commanding officer had no duty of care to Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard as he was not under the command of the officer. Well excuse me again, I thought we only had one army. A British soldier is a British soldier as far as I’m concerned! Don’t they all have a duty of care to each other?
The Guardian reported last month that Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard had been under observation for an hour before he was shot. This implies to me he wasn’t shot in the heat of the moment, was he. One hour & two soldiers that still didn’t know who they were looking at stinks of incompetence to me. The article also reported that there were problems with radio equipment & possibly issues with the night vision equipment & Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard’s Osprey body armour. Due to a change of shift the soldiers who shot him didn’t know Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard was in the area. This whole story stinks of a MOD cover up that has now become a story they just want to go away, leaving Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard as nothing but another statistic to poor procedures.
Now the coroner will conduct a full report, but that won’t change the fact that 2 idiots who didn’t know what or who they were shooting at fired any way, a young soldier is dead & they won’t even get charged with involuntary manslaughter or something. Just so there’s no misunderstanding I’m not having a go British soldiers in general just 2 idiots amongst them. I support the troops & appreciate it’s a tough job that they signed up to.
RIP Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard. My thoughts are with your family.