The mother of a Warwickshire soldier killed in Afghanistan has accused politicians of “feathering their own nest” instead of spending money on equipment for British troops.
At the inquest of her 21-year-old son Trooper James Munday, of Coleshill, Caroline Munday said the Government needed to do more to provide the best protection for soldiers.
She made the plea after hearing evidence that her son had been “instantaneously killed” when the Jackal vehicle he was driving exploded after hitting an improvised explosive device.
The Jackal has been criticised for failing to have enough armour to protect the driver and gunner when it hits a roadside bomb.
Mrs Munday told Warwickshire Coroner’s Court yesterday: “I know there has been much criticism about the Jackal and I know people have said there is no armament on the vehicle and the wheel arch channels the explosion.
“If the IED is big enough, and you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, then it will kill you. I hope our guys, who are fighting in hellish conditions, get the best equipment they need.
“I hope the Government, who have been feathering their own nest, give the best equipment to our soldiers.
“It is the least they deserve.”
The inquest heard that Trooper Munday was driving the second vehicle in a convoy of six Jackals near Garmsir in Helmand Province on October 15 last year, when his vehicle hit the IED.
All three soldiers inside the vehicle were thrown out in the blast, as the Jackal was sent flying five metres into the air. The convoy had been on a routine patrol to disrupt Taliban activity in the area known as the Marjah-Nawa gap, in Southern Helmand Province.
Sergeant Paul Hill, who was sitting next to Tpr Munday before he was killed, and suffered injuries including a smashed ankle, collapsed lung and seven broken bones, said: “James was happy before he died.
“He was a very very capable soldier and he was always talking about his family.
“Before he died he was giving me vital information he had gained over the previous months of his tour.”
Tpr Munday, of D Squadron, the Household Cavalry, was just two weeks away from completing his tour of duty when he was killed.
Warrant Officer Mark Hatton, investigating officer for the Royal Military Police, said: “It was too difficult to recover the IED after it exploded because the area was deemed to hostile with a lot of enemy activity. We believe the device had around 15 to 20kg of explosives inside.
“This is a significant amount.
“Investigations showed that kit issued was worn at the time and the Jackal had the correct protective equipment.”