Father of killed Exmouth marine slams Prime Minister

PUBLISHED: 11:53 14 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:27 10 June 2010

THE FATHER of an Exmouth marine killed in Afghanistan has hit out at the Prime Minister, claiming the Government continued to neglect the welfare of soldiers. Trooper Jack Sadler died in conflict two years ago when his vehicle hit a landmine during a reco

THE FATHER of an Exmouth marine killed in Afghanistan has hit out at the Prime Minister, claiming the Government continued to neglect the welfare of soldiers.

Trooper Jack Sadler died in conflict two years ago when his vehicle hit a landmine during a reconnaissance patrol checking routes for an impending operation in Helmand Province.

Speaking to the Journal in a week following the 100th military death in the country this year, his dad, Ian, said more soldiers would die unless the Government ensured servicemen and women were better equipped.

The 59-year-old, of Partridge Road, also criticised the Prime Minister after he was sent a handwritten letter of condolence two years after his son was killed.

He said: "The letter didn't do a lot for me because I hold Gordon Brown responsible for my son's death. It was just hollow words. It did annoy me that it was two years late."

Mr Sadler believed his son would still be alive if his company had been transported in a Chinook helicopter rather than a Land Rover on the day of his death.

He said: "I believe my Jack was killed from a shortage of helicopters.

"Gordon Brown has been lying and misleading the public ever since he was killed. He was misleading the public when he said we had 60 per cent more helicopters (out on operations).

"The helicopter budget of £1.4bn wasn't signed.

"Money was channelled into refurbishing barracks and accommodation. So they took £1.4bn out of the defence budget and put it into building contracts instead of getting the helicopters they needed.

"The other problem is vehicles. My son was in a Land Rover when he died. This has no defence against a mine whatsoever.

"They've got new vehicles coming out, called Jackals, made in Plymouth.

"They are not mine-resistant, but utility vehicles that have been brought in from America that can carry the weight of some armour plate bolted on underneath.

"Because this armour plate isn't in a v-shaped configuration, as is required of a mine-resistant vehicle, then a number of soldiers are going to die.

"Apparently we have lost 11 soldiers already in these and they only came out 12 months ago."

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: "Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Mr Sadler, and we pay tribute to the service his son Jack gave.

"Since 2006, we have delivered equipment valued at more than £10 billion to the Armed Forces.

"Success in Afghanistan is our main effort and we will ensure our people on operations have the best training and equipment for the challenging work they are doing.

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