Industry News – November 27, 2019
A former British paratrooper who was imprisoned in Iraq after shooting dead two bodyguards during a drunken rampage has been extradited back to the UK.
Daniel Fitzsimons, 41, gunned down ex-Royal Marine Paul McGuigan and Australian Darren Hoare, both 37, while they were working for ArmorGroup, a subsidiary of G4S.
He was jailed for 20 years in 2011 after the 2009 killing, however, he is now serving his time in Britain after being flown home earlier this year.
Sources have said that Fitzsimons might be released in 2024 and it is thought he is currently being held at Wandsworth Prison in London.
Fitzsimons was the first westerner convicted in Iraq since the 2003 invasion and it is thought that while jailed in Baghdad he was alongside al-Qaeda loyalists.
Fitzsimons killed Mr McGuigan and Mr Hoare in August 2011, just 36 hours after he arrived in Iraq to start work.
It later emerged during an inquest that he had forged documents to gain a security position and G4S had failed to properly check his criminal record.
The former soldier had been due to appear in court in Bolton after being accused of assaulting an Asian man on a train and also a firearms offence where he used a flare gun to scare off teenagers causing trouble outside his flat.
At the 2011 trial Fitzsimons narrowly escaped the death penalty and was jailed for 20 years in Iraq for double murder and wounding an Iraqi security guard.
He admitted shooting the men but claimed it was self-defence, saying they had been out drinking and the other two tried to kill him during an altercation.
He later claimed he was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following a number of army tours which left him with flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety.
At a 2014 inquest into the death of Mr. McGuigan, of Peebles, Tweeddale, it was revealed Fitzsimons was refusing to eat and wanted to be transferred to a British jail.
He also wanted to give evidence at the inquest and his family asked for the case to be adjourned to take instructions from the double killer. The request was refused.
Mr McGuigan had been a Green Beret before taking up work as a bodyguard, during which he spent two years providing security to the late former Beatle George Harrison.
His fiancée Nicola Prestage was pregnant when he was killed and she gave birth to their daughter prematurely one week after she had to identify his body once it was repatriated.
The Ministry of Justice told the Daily Mirror: ‘We can confirm Danny Fitzsimons was released to the UK earlier this year to serve the rest of his term under the prisoner release system.’