Support our Heroes, Mr Hammond

In the Commons this week Defence Secretary Philip Hammond Philip Hammond announced that he is worried by the ‘encroachment of judicial processes’ on the battlefield. I’m worried that he thinks he has any right to interfere in our country’s essential judicial processes. There is a stark difference between Human Rights on the Battlefield and the…

AFCS Scheme is all wrong

A Royal Navy sailor has been paid £1million after injuring her back playing a drunken game during an Armed Forces function. The 25-year-old – who is still serving – was hurt plunging from the top of a human pyramid built by alcohol-fuelled troops as they larked about in the mess. In stark contrast, the compensation…

THE ABI (Association of British Insurers) AND THIRD-PARTY CAPTURE

Third-party capture or (third party assistance) is when an insurer deals directly with a person who has a potential claim against their policyholder, in order to investigate and settle the claim. Typically, an insurer offers a compensation payment to settle the claim directly to a third party, rather than settling through a legal representative for…

The Defence Select Committee: “Future Army 2020”

  The Defence Select Committee has today published its report “Future Army 2020” with some worrying conclusions. The committee has “considerable doubts about how the plan was developed and tested and whether it meets the needs of UK security”. The Committee remains to be convinced that the Army 2020 plan represents a fully thought through…

Corporal Ellement Inquest

A coroner has criticised the Army after ruling that a vulnerable soldier had been driven to kill herself by bullying colleagues and the ‘lingering effects’ of an alleged rape. Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement hanged herself two years after telling her superiors that she had been raped by two fellow soldiers during a drunken night out in…

The MoD and the need for transparency

Since the repeal of S10 of the Crown Proceedings Act in 1987 and the effective removal of Crown Immunity, the MoD has struggled with public accountability having enjoyed total anonymity to scrutiny in the past. In the 21st Century lack of accountability is no longer a realistic or healthy option yet I understand there is…

Concerns with military PTSD and results of new study by King’s College London

The results of a study at the King’s Centre for Military Health Research at King’s College London has found that American combat veterans are 4 times more likely to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than British veterans. The study did find however that British veterans will be more likely to drink to dangerous levels….

Life for murderers of Fusilier Lee Rigby

Further to my article of 19th February 2014 I, along with the world, anxiously awaited Mr Justice Sweeney’s sentencing of the Lee Rigby murderers on 26th February 2014 and hoped for whole life sentences. I was pleased to see that Michael Adebolajo, 29, was awarded a whole life sentence, meaning he will spend the rest…

Guidance issued for coroners who rely on findings of the police or MOD

Ernest Andrew Brown v HM Coroner for the County of Norfolk v Chief Coroner of Norfolk Constabulary [2014] The decision of Lord Justice Pitchford and His Honour Judge Peter Thornton QC (Chief Coroner for England and Wales) in this successful application to quash the inquest held on 15 September 2011 into the death of Joanne…

Army team set to conquer Mount Everest

Good luck from everyone at Hilary Meredith Solicitors to the British Army team planning to climb Mount Everest. The expedition is hoping to raise awareness for sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSI) and is backed by the Combat Stress charity and The Royal British Legion. The expedition team is being led by Warrant Officer…

‘I tried to kill myself’ says ‘bullied’ ex-soldier

Former soldier Joseph McCabe is currently bringing a civil action against the Ministry of Defence. Joseph McCabe, who has a pronounced stammer, claims that during his service in Germany and Iraq he was head-butted, stabbed and repeatedly bullied. Mr McCabe said that little was done to help him. An Army spokesperson told the BBC: “Whilst…

Landmark Court of Appeal ruling paves the way for whole life sentences to be given to the murderers of soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby

In July 2013 the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that whole life terms, whilst justified, must have some mechanism for review after 25 years. The Court further ruled that England and Wales provided no such mechanism and whole life sentences therefore breached a criminal’s human rights.   The Court of Appeal looked…

Hilary Meredith Solicitors announces Sanctuary for Veterans as Charity of the Year

Hilary Meredith Solicitors Ltd has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the military community by selecting Sanctuary for Veterans as its official Charity of the Year. Sanctuary for Veterans aims to provide respite and support for injured ex-military personnel and their families to help them settle back into the community after being discharged on medical grounds….

Skiing helmets – safe or a false sense of security?

I understand the French police are concluding their investigation into Michael Schumacher’s skiing incident. Having skied off piste, they have concluded that all piste markers where properly in place and complied with regulations. Schumacher hit a rock only slightly covered in snow and was catapulted into another rock hitting this head first with such force…

Lord Ashcroft’s review on Veterans’ Affairs

The former Conservative Deputy Chairman Lord Ashcroft this week delivered to Parliament his review on Veterans’ Affairs. His considered opinion is that more  should be done for service leavers, regardless of their time spent in service.  He reports that many of  those with short careers of less than four years struggle  to adapt to civvie…

National clampdown on lack of construction site safety

Statistics continue year after year to indicate that rates of death, injury and ill health are among the highest in the construction industry. In a recent article published by the HSE it was confirmed that “construction workers remain nearly four times more likely to be killed at work than the average worker.” One common type…

The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme

In industrial terms there can have been few if any more shocking revelations in recent years than the exposure of ‘The Consulting Association’. This was a conglomerate of construction companies, including some of the largest and most high profile in the UK which prepared and shared a database recording details of individual contractors and workers…

Fresh hopes for military welfare reform as fresh inquest into victim of suspected rape and bullying is heard in Salisbury

The headlines this week have been dominated by several shocking reports of women who have tragically killed themselves due to a lack of support following their allegations of rape. One such woman was Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement, whose heartrending story is currently being heard by a fresh inquest into her death. Royal Military Police officer, Anne-Marie…