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Ex Soldier Guilty of Manslaughter. :: The Slant / UK News
May 20th
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Politics/Current Affairs

Ex Soldier Guilty of Manslaughter.

Monday, January 29th, 2007 at 12:34 by RJ Barker

David Bradley, 41, has admitted the manslaughter of four members of his family. He was originally charged with murder but those charges were dropped when two psychiatrists agreed he was mentally ill at the time of the killings.

Detectives have said how the killings happened when Bradley ‘flipped out’ and began smashing up the house which led to a fight with his brother. He then lay in wait until his aunt and cousin returned to the house. Four lives were lost in a five hour period.

Details of the murder are as sad as they are chilling. Bradley was, by all accounts, an exemplary soldier who served in the first Gulf War, Bosnia and Northern Ireland. After the killings he walked to the local police station. Stopped to put out his cigarette when he saw a no smoking sign. He then entered the police station and handed over a shotgun and a silenced pistol that was a trophy form his days in Bosnia. Afterwards he walked out the station with his hands on his head and waited to be arrested. When asked if he was alright he replied “No not really, I have killed four members of my family.”

Although this is an extreme case it is true that mental illness among ex-soldiers is significantly higher than among the civilian population. Throughout history it’s been shown that soldiers often have a difficult time adjusting back to civilian life. Our media are quick enough to shout about our ‘glorious brave boys’ out there fighting for Queen and country. It’s a pity they don’t make a similar outcry about the way they are treated upon their return.

The MO.D. says it checked Bradley when he left the forces and he showed no signs of mental illness. He probably wouldn’t have, seeing as it’s the stress of adjusting back to civilian life that seems to be the trigger. There are lessons to be learnt from the sad and horrific case of David Bradley. I would like to think someone in government is paying attention, history tells me that they probably are not.[1]

1. This is probably the only article you will read about this that doesn’t use the word ‘Massacre’.

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2 Comments on “Ex Soldier Guilty of Manslaughter.”

  1. Stephen Ball Says:

    I seem to meet an unusual number of people who used to be in the SAS and SBS. One of them was deep undercover in Northern Ireland for months (no contact, totally off-radar, no renting accomodation, living out of dustbins) then debriefed and sent home in a few days. He was completely spaced, and had no help at all re-adjusting. I don’t know the regular procedure - I’m going to assume there is one - but it certainly seems as though some soldiers fall through the holes in the system. We fail them.

  2. theo Says:

    All these people are victims of politicians wanting their imperial cake and to eat it too. They are truly the casualties of real war - something that saddens us all as family people . Who would want this?The obverse of obvious heroism or is it the price of real unsung heroism. We are inundated by these poor men , our streets , our mental health institutes, the veterans associations all are at breaking capacity. I meet these people every so often in my life and every time i do i come off worse because initial warmth and consideration soon fade from the constant threat of unpredictable violence or social ineptitude and worse. The ex soldiers are dumped without any support and sometimes even if there is support they are in no state to obtain and keep on side, we must remember the professionals that extend the service!
    Britain is over-punching it flyweight frame in a heavyweight world , the British people need their services and their infrastructure renewing instead of its megalomaniac politicians dreaming of shades of empire.

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