Press release statement shared on behalf of the parents of Michael Hampshire.
Inquest into the death of Mic Hampshire
“Our beloved son Michael Hampshire was murdered by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Sunday the 17th May 2015. The inquest into his death was completed today and the Coroner returned a verdict of “Unlawful Killing”. Although we had hoped that we would hear the answers to all of our questions and queries about what happened, we are sad and very disappointed that we did not and were unable to gain satisfaction from the process. Michael was in almost daily contact with us and his fiancee Claire while working in Afghanistan and he repeatedly detailed his concerns about the duties he and other Close Protection Officers [CPOs] were requested to carry out and the routes that they were expected to travel on while transporting Officials around Kabul City. Michael was a professional soldier and RMP before training to become a CPO; he knew the risks of the role he held and the work he was involved in, but he also understood the importance of ensuring that risk assessments were thorough and well informed with up to date intelligence. He had expert knowledge on safety and security and knew what he was talking about when assessing the growing danger of routes around Kabul. It appears that his employer, Hart international and the organisation that contracted them, EUPOL, to provide protection of official personnel in Kabul, were not interested in listening to Michael’s concerns and of his fellow CPOs, and chose to disregard their reports on the growing dangers that concerned them.
We are heartbroken that our son has been taken from us in such a tragic and brutal way. Nobody can comprehend how losing a child will make you feel; the gap will forever remain in our hearts, in our family and in our home, is so huge that it is unquantifiable. We fully understand that an inquest is not a court of blame and we were not looking to blame anyone or anything apart from the insurgents who manipulated the suicide bomber and planned the road side attack, but we truly hoped that we would hear a full and honest account of everything Michael had told us was happening in the days leading up to his death; we believed that the inquest would be a process that would fearlessly reveal what happened. We went into the process with an open mind and we hoped all witnesses would reveal the relevant information we needed to hear. We know that we have tried to do everything that we can to get justice for Michael and we desperately wanted to do everything in our power to find out the details of what happened and hopefully provide some impetus to making sure it does not happen again. Sadly, we have not achieved this and feel totally let down and disillusioned by the outcome of the investigation into our wonderful son’s brutal death.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people and organisations that have given us support through the years since Michael died and through the inquest process; we are very grateful to all of them for their help, support and compassion.
*Matthew Gold Solicitors.
*Sue Haile AAFA [Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse]
*Family Support Worker.
*Family Liaison officers of the anti-terrorist Police.”
11th January 2018.