Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Danny Fitzsimons Discharged from Army with PTSD

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 11, 2009

Briton facing death penalty in Iraq ‘suffering from stress’

The parents of an ex-Paratrooper who allegedly shot two fellow security guards in Iraq have said he was suffering from a stress disorder triggered by his experience of conflict.


In a statement the family appealed for assistance to ensure that Daniel Fitzsimons, who faces the death penalty, is granted a fair trial in Baghdad.

The former soldier has reportedly said that colleagues, Paul McGuigan and Darren Hoare were shot after he received a “beating” from the two men after a drinking session in the city’s Green Zone.

He is being held at a jail in central Baghdad under Iraqi law and could be the first Westerner to go to court on criminal charges since immunity was lifted earlier this year.

“We are seeking funding in order to get a fair trial for Daniel, who served his country in Afghanistan and Iraq and left the Army suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,”

the statement from father Eric and stepmother Liz, from Whitworth, and mother Beverley, from Blackley, said. “This situation is every parent’s worst nightmare. We have been unable to speak directly to Daniel and are currently in contact with the Foreign Office, Fair Trials Abroad and our local MP, Jim Dobbin.”

Mr Fitzsimons was born in Rochdale and grew up in New Moston, Manchester. He went to school at Our Lady’s Catholic school in Royton, Oldham, before joining the Army.

Friends have revealed Mr Fitzsimons lived by himself in a flat in Rochdale and that he had told only his father and doctor about the trauma he had suffered.

Mr Fitzsimons had returned to Iraq as a private security contractor, ‘on and off’, for around three years. “I got into a fight with two colleagues and they had me pinned down. I received a real beating,” he told the Times. “They beat me and that’s when I reached for my weapon. I was drunk and it happened very quickly.”

An Iraqi military spokesman, Major General Qassim al-Moussawi said the circumstances of the fight were well established. “It started as a squabble. The suspect is facing a premeditated murder charge,” he said. “The matter is now in the hands of Iraqi justice.”

Another British man was questioned by police and later released, the Foreign Office confirmed.

A friend of Fitzsimons told ITV News that the former soldier had struggled to recover from serving in Iraq. “He’s not a cold-blooded murderer, he’s just someone that has basically been in a war zone and is reaping the effects,” he said. “He’s been through some very tragic and hard-core events and you know, seeing friends killed and colleagues killed has an effect on you.”  Original Story here

Iraq guard Fitzsimons tells The Times he killed in self-defence

One former British soldier who had worked alongside Mr Fitzsimons, who previously served as a Paratrooper, claimed he had a history of violent conduct. “This should have precluded him from being hired,” he said. “This guy should never have been out here.”

A contractor based in Britain who also worked with Mr Fitzsimons agreed. “We have guys working in Iraq whose backgrounds are not checked as they should be,” he said. “This guy has been a loose cannon for years.”

ArmorGroup said it had a strong vetting and screening process for its employees. “We have been presented with the allegations regarding Mr Fitzsimons today and they are currently under thorough investigation. Until that is complete, we are not able to comment further,” a spokeswoman added. Existing employees in Iraq, however, said that on-the-job monitoring of staff was at best cursory.   Times story here

9 Responses to “Danny Fitzsimons Discharged from Army with PTSD”

  1. Barry said

    There is a complete lack of rational thought and logic in the management and use of private contractors in war zones.

    If someone is released from the military for PTSD, but are then allowed to work as a security contractor in a war zone, there is a great risk to the person with PTSD and everyone around them.

    It is almost impossible to believe that something so absurd was allowed by the governments and businesses involved. If I were on a jury I would award a huge settlement to the shooting victims familes and also to Danny Fitzsimons, because he should never allowed to set one foot in a war zone until he has completely recovered from his PTSD, if that is even possible in his case.

    As this DBA blog administrator and people who post comments have mentioned many times there should be comprehensive screenings for PTSD and other Psychological problems.

    And then making matters much worse is the fact that the U.S. government and the insurance companies seem to ignore the seriousness of PTSD and often try to act like it does not exist.

    Then you have heinous companies like Tangiers, who have the criminally insane practice of harrassing war zone contractors with PTSD, like they did to Mark Munro when they called him at 5am, confirmed Mark’s name, and then hung up the phone and followed him around all day. They were hired by AIG, and AIG should be held very responsible for the reckless endangerment tnat Tangiers engaged in.

    If the Department of Justice and Department of Labor continue to do nothing I pray that God will hold them equally accountable for the destruction of lives that continues to be caused by the failure to acknowledge the reality of the great dangers of PTSD, and the great dangers the insurance companies create when they harrass the PTSD patients with delays, ignoring evidence and communications, and all the other heinous actions the insurance companies intentionally engage in for the purpose of ignroing valid claims so they can increase their profits.

  2. […] Danny Fitzsimons Discharged From Army with PTSD […]

  3. Tony said

    Im not being funny, but you have the widowers complaining that there husbands have been killed but what sort of idiot who has a family, has a child or is expecting a child goes working in a bloody warzone !! doing security work in the most dangerous place on the planet…surely there are other jobs available to these hired guns….

    • Marty said

      The sort of idiot that sees an opportunity to provide a better life for his family the likes of which he may never get a again. These “Hired Guns” have all served their countries, many fighting wars for a wage that you couldn’t get the average person to do half the hours for. Never mind risk life and limb. Then the chance to use your skills and bravery to protect people in the same war zones and actually be paid something closer to what your skill set is worth comes along and you think its an idiot who takes it?? I’d say the idiot is somewhere between your computer and your chair.

  4. […] Danny Fitzsimons discharged from Army with PTSD […]

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  6. Craig said

    If you were knowingly discharged from the military with PTSD and then knowingly sought employment in an environment that you knew had a high chance of exposing you to the same events that resulted in you having PTSD in the first place then why the hell would you seek employment in that line of work? and knowing the industry like i do, if he knew he had PTSD then he must have had a clinical diagnosis from a Dr which means he must have LIED on his medical examination to sign him FIT FOR WORK in HOSTILE ENVIRONMENTS. Strange that!

    • defensebaseactcomp said

      Thanks Craig for adding your thoughts on this.
      He had many clinical diagnoses right up until he ran out on a firearms charge in the UK, and having served 8 mos in jail prior, and drug and alcohol problems, and having been let go from several previous PSC employers.
      Sure he lied. Probably was past the point of worrying about exposing himself further.
      Usually the lies are regards to certifications and experience but this was a more deadly bunch of lies.
      ArmorGroup has been so terribly negligent in so many ways but arming Fitzsimons should be considered criminal.
      Darren Hoare and Paul McGuigan would still be alive if ArmorGroup had bothered to Vet the guy.

      But all involved are oddly quiet about ArmorGroups negligence while screaming hang the murdering Fitzsimons….

  7. Margaret Fitzsimons said

    I share the same surname as Danny Fitzsimons but we are not related. It is because of his name that I became interested in the case. While doing some broad-based family history research, many years ago, I came across the name of Danny’s father, Eric Fitzsimons. At that time, as a much younger man, he had earned a full-page spread in one of the tabloid newspapers. He was a famous and much respected Rugby Coach for Oldham. What is mysterious to me is the fact that Danny’s father has remained virtually mute throughout the reportage,in the U.K., of his son’s offences.

    Little or nothing has been sought, in the way of a reaction, from his real mother who is still alive: lives in the area and who, I understand, holds a responsible position (according to INTERNET sources) in the constituent Local Authority. I wonder if, into the mix, we could include the earlier divorce of his parents who appear to be Catholics.

    It is tempting to think that Danny was a fragile soul and his vulnerability may have been worsened by this trauma. His stepmother certainly seems to have ‘stepped up to the plate’ in terms of responsibility and I hope that the Iraqui authorities will agree a solution to let him serve out his sentence in the U.K.

    I cannot believe that anyone in a balanced state of mind, would commit a double murder of two people who, intrinsically, had no real connection to him. We feel deeply sorry for the traumatised families of the victims but the most culpable culprit is the Ministry of Defence who continue to ‘ditch’ soldiers when they return home to the U.K. Most soldiers seem (like the Police) to be so brain-washed as to be unable to function unless in a highly disciplined and structured setting. I should imagine that their anger in an everday situation, once they have left the Forces, has nowhere to go except in a display of acute agression. Someone should follow up on the correlation, if any, between crime and former soldiers. The soldiers, themselves, would probably welcome some independent statistics. Most of them are simply ‘lost’ when they are dismissed. Or their respective families are left to ‘mop’ it all up.

    I am now a grey-haired older senior and if I can figure this out, then others must have reflected on similar thoughts.

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