We are very upset and disappointed that having waited so long for this lengthy process to conclude that no charges or punishment and no genuine guilt has been acknowledgement by the MoD or LCOH Kelly. It is, and has always been our opinion, that Kelly knew what he had done within moments of firing the round that killed our son James. Rather than acknowledging he did wrong, he instead chose to step back. The simple fact remains that his errors led directly to our son’s death; he has and will forever have James’ blood on his hands.
We have been dismayed at the lack of empathy and respect shown to us by the various facets of the MoD, who have aggressively sought to challenge us, forgetting their fallen colleague and the duty of care that they owed to him. Whilst we have finally in the last few weeks received an apology for the way we have been treated, that was far too long in coming. It seems incredible to us that we should have to speak out for our dead son whilst the MOD has sought to excuse itself of any wrongdoing. Despite this we have continued to conduct ourselves as James would have expected; with dignity and courage.
It is difficult to describe the impact that losing James has had on all of our lives. There are few words which can adequately portray the sense of loss to us. As parents, we have lost our son, our daughter has lost her protector and only sibling, his girlfriend the love of her life.
James impacted everyone that he met, his enthusiasm, positive nature, sheer determination and strength are just a few of his unique qualities. James lived his life with complete honesty and integrity, his final act one of immense courage which saved the lives of those around him.
We would like to thank those who have supported and helped us through this process and in particular Hilary Meredith Solicitors, our barrister Tom Coke-Smyth, the Royal British Legion as well as James’ many colleagues. In addition to this we would like to thank Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner, Ms Schofield who has always acted with great respect and dignity towards us.
I would like to finish by saying that being James’ parents has been the greatest honour imaginable, although we miss him every moment of every day, we are grateful that we raised such a capable man, who achieved so much and touched so many in such a short period of time.
Any enquiries to:
Hilary Meredith Solicitors Ltd
1 Mitre Court
London EC4Y 7BS
DD: 020 3861 4491