Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Fitzsimons Update: ‘traumatised by combat’

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 14, 2009

Contractor accused of Baghdad murders ‘was traumatised by combat’

Full Story here

Fitzsimons, 29, who faces the death penalty if convicted, was traumatised by his experiences in Iraq and Kosovo according to his family.

The walls of his flat were covered with poems about death and destruction and Fitzsimons would pace the floor at night, they said.

“We feel deeply for the two men who were shot and their families but there is a third victim in this,” his stepmother, Liz, a teacher, told the Independent. “He is very, very poorly. He should not have got a paid post working for a private security firm.”

His brother Michael said Fitzsimons would cry as he told of finding a child’s head in Kosovo, picking up bits of his friend’s brain in Iraq, and the faces of enemies he had killed in combat. Michael Fitzsimons said his brother told him: “I won’t make it past 30, I will either get shot out there or kill myself.”

In 2004, a psychiatric report said that he had combat stress after he drunkenly punched an officer and was held back when his battalion was sent to Iraq.

It has also emerged that Fitzsimons was facing a possible jail term in Britain. Earlier this year, he pulled a flare gun on children and fired it into the air to scare them off at his home in Middleton, Greater Manchester.

He was convicted on 1 April of a public order offence over the incident but left for Iraq before he could be sentenced.

Fitzsimons was given a suspended sentence in November last year for firearms offences after being found in possession of prohibited ammunition – believed to be 5.5mm tapered Nato-issue bullets.

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