A security guard shot dead by a colleague while working in Iraq had been looking forward to becoming a dad again, an inquest has heard.
Former Royal Marine Paul McGuigan (pictured) – originally from Peebles – was killed, along with his workmate Australian Darren Hoare, by former paratrooper Daniel Fitzsimons.
Fitzsimons, from Middleton, is currently serving 20 years in an Iraqi prison for the two murders, although his transfer back to the UK is currently being negotiated.
Mr McGuigan’s fiancée Nicola Prestage was pregnant with his daughter when he was killed in 2009. The couple, who lived in Droylsden, had planned to marry in Las Vegas when he returned home from Iraq.
Ms Prestage said her partner ‘couldn’t wipe the smile off his face’ after discovering he was to become a dad again. He already had a son from a previous relationship.
She told the court, her ‘kind and loving’ partner had discovered the gender of the baby on the phone from Iraq, while she was having an ultrasound.
She said: “The nurse was speaking to him on the phone when I had the scan and I could hear him scream to the guys over there ‘it’s a girl’.”
Ms Prestage told the court that Mr McGuigan had said, during a phone conversation before his death, that he had picked up a ‘dodgy person’ that day who claimed to be a ‘black sheep’.
She later discovered he had been describing Fitzsimons.
She also disputed a claim made at the hearing that Mr McGuigan had been two and a half times over the drink drive limit when he died, stating that he was sober when she spoke to him for three hours over Skype before his death.
Fitzsimons – who had been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after a tour of duty in Iraq – was on bail at the time for firearms offences after leaving the Parachute Regiment.
He was employed by security company G4S, under the name ArmorGroup, along with Mr McGuigan.
Mr McGuigan’s mother, Corrine Boyds-Russell, said representatives from G4S met with her in the week of her son’s death and told the family he had been involved in an accident.
She said: “They said there had been an accident.
“These people had been drinking together, ended up in a fight and another man, an Iraqi guard, had been injured.”
Speaking outside court, she said she hoped the inquest would give her the answers she had been waiting for for five years.
She added: “Paul was a lovely boy.
“He was a fantastic father – he didn’t deserve what happened to him.”
The inquest continues today (Thursday).