Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Danny Fitzsimons from Death Row in Iraq: Left to rot

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 1, 2010

UPDATE: His murder trial was scheduled to begin at Baghdad’s Central Criminal Court on Wednesday (Aug 4) but was adjourned again while psychiatric tests are carried out on the defendant. A new trial date is expected in mid-September, a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said.

Danny Fitzsimons, once a member of the Parachute Regiment – a hero. Now he sits in a cell on Iraq’s Death Row facing death by hanging.

Editor’s note:  G4S and Armorgroup have accepted no responsibility, nor will they be prosecuted for so negligently arming a man as mentally ill as Mr. Fitzsimons.   Negligence that resulted in the deaths of two men, one seriously injured, children orphaned, women widowed, and families bereft.  Negligence that doomed Mr Fitzsimons to this hell as well as he did by his own hand. News

Soldier-turned-mercenary Danny Fitzsimons is awaiting trial in Baghdad for shooting dead two men and wounding a third.

But speaking exclusively to the Sunday Mirror, he insists he is the victim of a terrible injustice and begs the Government to secure his release and bring him home.

He says he killed his victims in self-defence as he battled terrible mental trauma from the nine years he spent serving in Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan.

Fitzsimons, 30, from Middleton, Manchester, says: “I know my actions that night have caused a lot of pain to the relatives of the dead men. To their families and children I am truly sorry. I believe I need to be in a mental hospital in Britain and not in an inhumane dungeon in Baghdad. Many ex-soldiers like me are left to fight our demons alone.

“I stand little chance of a fair trial in Iraq and the psychiatric assessment here was a joke. Bring me home and let me get the help I so desperately need. I chose my life and stand by it but I don’t believe I deserve to be left to rot. Please don’t let me hang in Iraq.”

Fitzsimons shares his cockroachand rat-infested cell at Karadat Maryam police station with 17 other prisoners.

He says: “I’m being fed by some of my jail mates. Without them I would not have proper food or be able to take water.

“They don’t let us in the yard for air or sun and it’s like living in an oven in the cell. It is overrun with cockroaches and rats and filth.”

Fitzsimons was in Iraq as a military contractor working for British private security firm ArmorGroup, who he says took him on without carrying out a full medical assessment. Had the truth emerged, they would have found out he was discharged from 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment after being diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.

He also had alcohol problems and was facing criminal charges for brandishing a flare gun at children outside his flat in Middleton. On his third visit to Iraq, last August, he was drinking with two fellow mercenaries when a row started. Fitzsimons says he punched Scottish ex-Royal Marine Paul McGuigan, 37, before the two made up. But he says later that night Paul and the second man, Australian father-ofthree Darren Hoare, also 37, attacked him. He says: “The two men came into my room with clear intention of doing me harm and attacked me in my bed in a drunken rage.” He says they threatened to kill him with an M4 assault rifle and he shot them three times with a Glock pistol. As he fled he shot an Iraqi security guard in the leg. He says: “I did exactly what I’ve been trained to do since 1996. I acted in self-defence to save my life.”

Paul’s fiancée Nicola Prestage disagrees, saying it was “an unprovoked attack”. Fitzsimons, who has been locked up for a year, is due to go before a judge on Wednesday for a trial date to be set. Iraqi doctors are assessing his mental health.

Clive Stafford Smith, of Human rights charity Reprieve, said: “It is unfathomable ArmorGroup would dispatch him and arm him in a war zone without proper screening.”

A spokesman for ArmorGroup admitted Fitzsimons’ screening was not completed in line with their procedures but added: “We received two separate medical documents which certified that Mr Fitzsimons was fit to work in Iraq. It has subsequently come to light that the most recent of those documents was forged – we have reason to believe it was forged by Mr Fitzsimons.”

3 Responses to “Danny Fitzsimons from Death Row in Iraq: Left to rot”

  1. Going Silent said

    I can’t fathom the fact that he’s going to be tried in Iraq. Maybe for shooting an Iraqi in the leg, O.K. But any other crime he may have committed was not againest an Iraq citizen. He should be extradicted A.S.A.P. and repatrioted.

  2. daffodils said

    At the time we signed up we were under the illusion that our respective home countries actually cared for us since we carried out some of the most sensitive missions for them, the ones no goverment wants to take responsibility for, only to find out when we were injured that we were predestined as disposable garbage in their minds.
    Well screw you too. This works both ways. It takes two to tango. Viva Wikileaks who proved beyond any doubt to anyone, esp to the Covingtn Cabal, that war is indeed life-threatening. Not that they care to pay any attention anyhow, their bribes from Halliburton INC and others are secure and beyond scrutiny, and they will never pay the price because the authorities are too willfully dumb to figure out and call the blatant fraud going on here.
    Lets count on Karma then, or does anyone have a better idea?

  3. daffodils said

    In case you wonder what the previous comment has to do with the case at hand, here is a copy:

    June 15, 2010 at 12:15 am
    To blame this on booze is just ridiculous, otherwise there would have been thousands of incidents like this one over there because they were all drinking, of course it may have contributed but to ignore the fact that this man was discharged from the military and on disability for PTSD and deemed too unstable to work in Iraq by his peers from another company tells you all you need to know. Plus he worked for that depraved company that tolerated and encouraged sexual hazing in Kabul guarding the American embassy, right?
    No matter how much the government and the Covington Cabal tries to downplay the disorder, PTSD according to the bible of psychiatry, the DSM-4, can cause dissociative flashbacks which means you go berserk, go insane, for a period of time following a trigger for however long it lasts (does not mean you have symptoms all the time, persistent does not mean continously).
    How else do you explain that more soldiers have died from suicide than in combat from the recent wars, or the rampant murder-suicides of loved ones, including babies and even pets thrown against walls, and one-third felony convictions in Californa alone? if they were all bad to start with, how did they pass all the psych tests and manage to complete training and earn all those purple hearts?

    I hope this man’s lawyer reads DBAcomp (or someone tells him/her to do so) and argues the revised version of DSM-5 to be published in 2012 which reflects the current general medical consensus that has evolved from 1980 when the DSM-4 was published. Note in particular that one of the new PTSD criteria (new cluster) is aggressive behavior.
    To say that this man was mentally normal at the time when he did this is highly improbable.

    2. DSM-IV A2 Criterion has no utility

    20. Criterion E1. changes the focus from angry feelings (retained in D4) to aggressive behavior
    21. Criterion E2. New criterion-Focus on reckless and self-destructive behavior

    E. Alterations in arousal and reactivity that are associated with the traumatic event(s) (that began or worsened after the traumatic event(s)), as evidenced by 3 or more of the following: Note: In children, as evidenced by 2 or more of the following:****

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