Families of Iraq servicemen and women launch legal campaign in wake of Chilcot report

Soldier Private Michael Tench who was killed in Iraq after his patrol vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.
Soldier Private Michael Tench who was killed in Iraq after his patrol vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.
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A Wearside mum whose son was one of the youngest servicemen to die in the Iraq war has joined other families as they launch a Crowdfunded legal battle against former prime minister Tony Blair.

Janice Procter, 54, from Washington, is one of around 30 families to add their voice to the Chilcot Inquiry - Answers for Iraq campaign group set up to represent the loved ones of the 179 servicemen and women who were claimed in the conflict.

Janice Procter with a picture of her son Private Michael Tench who was killed in Iraq in January 2007.

Janice Procter with a picture of her son Private Michael Tench who was killed in Iraq in January 2007.

It aims to raise £50,000 to fund the first part of their case which aims to “bring to justice those responsible for the War and the deaths of our loved ones.”

The appeal’s page has speculated this could be against the former Labour prime minister and other Government officials, with the cash to be used to carry out a “full and forensic legal analysis” of the 2.6million word report overseen by Sir John Chilcot.

The research of the 12-volume document, issued weeks ago after it took seven years to complete, will help the team prepare a report approved by a expert senior counsel, with £150,000 needed in total.

The group is led by Roger Bacon and Reg Keys, whose sons were both killed in Iraq.

We’re all on this long road and it’s hard, but we hold each other’s hands, it’s what we do.

Janice Procter

Janice, who joins other North East families among the 30, lost her son Private Michael Tench, who was 18 when he was killed when his Warrior vehicle was hit by a bomb in January 2007.

The former Hylton Red House School pupil was spending his first Christmas away from his Sunderland home and had dreamed of being in the Army since he was seven.

Janice said: “John Chilcot’s inquiry, it showed he acted improperly and mistakes were made and now we need help with the first stage, because this is massive and a unique legal campaign and we need to get the public behind it.

“It’s a fight for justice.

“We will never give up our fight and some of the families have been going through this since 2003, and it was 2007 when I came along and we’re all on this long road and it’s hard, but we hold each other’s hands, it’s what we do.

“It’s very tiring and pressurised, especially with the media, but we need help to let people know.

“It’s a lot of hard work and emotionally draining.

“We expected death, yes, you expect the knock on the door, but you don’t expect your nation to be lied to and in this war, there were big mistakes, which cost the lives of hundreds of thousands.

“A lot of men and women came back with post traumatic stress disorder and they are still suffering.

“We will never let this rest because my son was murdered.

“Tony Blair is not above the law, no one should be.

“We really need the public behind us.

“Every bit of support helps and donations to the Crowdfunding page is already seeing that and I want to say a massive thanks from the bottom of my heart to everyone who does.”

More information about the campaign can be found via: https://www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/chilcot/