The Innerleithen mother of a security contractor murdered in Iraq by a colleague says she blames the company that employed her son’s killer.
Corinne Boyd-Russell was speaking as part of the BBC’s Scotland 2014 programme, which was broadcast on Tuesday night, and which had obtained what it claimed was a leaked copy of the internal investigation report carried out by security firm, G4S, in the wake of the shootings.
Ex-British Army paratrooper Danny Fitzsimons shot dead her son, former Royal Marine Paul McGuigan, from Peebles, and Australian, Darren Hoare, in Baghdad in 2009. It emerged Fitzsimons was on bail for alleged firearms offences and was also suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at the time of the killings.
And, according to BBC investigators, the leaked company internal review document, that has not previously been made public, showed that G4S – which owns ArmorGroup for which Fitzsimons worked – had carried out audits that highlighted failings in its own screening procedures months before the killings took place.
And the report’s section on the screening process Fitzsimons had undergone, showed that basic documents were missing, while some of the details on his personnel form were “incomplete and inappropriate”.
The programme also claimed a criminal records bureau certificate, which would have recorded previous criminal convictions, was never obtained and that the ex-soldier from Rochdale in Manchester was on bail facing other criminal charges.
Fitzsimons, who killed the two men just 36 hours after arriving in the Iraqi capital, is now serving a 20-year prison sentence for their murders.
But in the programme, Mr McGuigan’s distraught mother says she holds G4S responsible for her son’s death.
She commented: “Why would you put guns into the hands of men who hadn’t been vetted properly or screened properly? Why do that? It’s not right, you just shouldn’t do that.
“If they had implemented their processes my son would be alive today. My son would have a life. We would have a life.
“G4S have got a lot to answer for. It was G4S that put Danny Fitzsimons in that position to be able to murder my son and his colleague. There was a lot of faults made. If those faults hadn’t have been made, my son would still be alive today.”
Fitzsimons’ family also believe it was wrong he was sent to Iraq and the families of both men want a public inquiry.
An inquest into the shooting of Mr McGuigan is scheduled for September. The BBC contacted G4S, but the company declined to comment, citing the pending inquest.