Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

AWOL Medical Records always the perfect cover up

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 13, 2011

by Polly Dunbar at the Mail UK

‘All they wanted to look at was body parts’: Widow of bomb hero Olaf Schmid accuses Army of inquest cover-up

The widow of bomb disposal hero Olaf Schmid has criticised the inquest into his death and accused Army chiefs of covering up the ‘true reasons’ he died.

Christina Schmid, 35, said she felt ‘betrayed’ by the Ministry of Defence.

The inquest last week into the 30-year-old’s death in Afghanistan in 2009 recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

The coroner stated there was ‘nothing in the operation which fell below what might have been expected and that could have contributed to his death’.

But Mrs Schmid said: ‘The inquest was futile and rushed. They didn’t seem to want to look into the true reasons for his death. All they wanted to talk about was what happened to his body parts when I have always been more concerned about what was happening in his brain leading up to that point.’

She added that a fainting fit the staff sergeant had before his death was caused by exhaustion.

Mrs Schmid said: ‘I feel betrayed – but I should have learned by now that the MoD is nothing more than an institution which covers its back and does what’s easiest.’

Sources claimed last night that the MoD had lost the medical records of Staff Sergeant Schmid, who was known to his family and colleagues as Oz.

They say the missing records would have shown that he was suffering medical issues in the lead-up to his death which could have impacted on his ability to do his job.

Staff Sgt Schmid was trying to disarm improvised explosive devices (IEDs) when he was killed the day before he was due to return home for a break. He won a posthumous George Cross for gallantry.

At the inquest in Truro, Cornwall, several of his colleagues gave statements saying he had appeared ‘unsettled and impatient’ after his five-year-old stepson told him in a phone call the night before: ‘Daddy, it’s time to come home.’

But according to sources who knew him, his agitation could also have been the result of the severe digestive complaints he experienced during his five months in Helmand, which were not raised at the inquest.

One source said: ‘It was widely known that Oz suffered from chronic irritable bowel syndrome and colitis.

‘All the boys would joke about it but he was in a lot of discomfort and had to use the toilet up to 15 times a day. He received treatment for his problems during the tour but no evidence exists of this because the MoD have said that they cannot find his medical records.’

Mrs Schmid has previously spoken of the stress her husband was under after working for 129 days without a break.

Please read the original story here

How dare they blame my son for Olaf’s death: Call home didn’t upset bomb hero, he was just exhausted, says widow

The widow of Olaf Schmid accused the Army yesterday of trying to blame her young son for the bomb disposal expert’s death.

Christina Schmid, 35, said she felt betrayed by the Ministry of Defence and described his inquest last week as ‘futile and rushed’.

The hearing had been told that the night before Staff Sergeant Schmid died his stepson, Laird, now seven, had told him: ‘Daddy, it’s time to come home.’

It was claimed the poignant phone call had unsettled him just hours before he was due to fly back from Afghanistan for two-weeks leave.

But his distraught wife dismissed the suggestion that he was impatient and suffering from ‘last-day jitters’ when he was killed by an improvised explosive device in October 2009.  Please see updates here

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