3:10pm Monday 24th December 2012
Exclusive By Neil Vowles and Mark Pawlak
A Territorial Army soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder could face jail after being charged with stealing a gun from his barracks for what his family believe was a suicide attempt.
The family and friends of Corporal Harry Killick say the father of two feels betrayed by the Army and they have launched a campaign to try to get him urgent professional medical help.
Relatives say Cpl Killick feels let down by the level of care he has received for the terrifying flashbacks he experiences from his time serving in Afghanistan.
A campaign to highlight his situation has already attracted more than 1,000 supporters online.
The 36-year-old was arrested in October at a home in Ditchling Rise, Brighton, by Sussex Police officers after allegedly taking a gun from the TA barracks in Dyke Road, Brighton.
Having been charged at Crawley Police Station, he was then remanded in custody to category B prison Highdown in Surrey.
He will appear at Lewes Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on January 4 charged with possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence, possessing a prohibited weapon and three counts of theft.
His sister, Linda Killick, said that he is currently on suicide watch at the prison and has been diagnosed by the prison psychiatrist with severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
Cpl Killick joined the Prince of Wales Royal Regiment in 2008 after serving for five years in the Parachute Regiment, including doing tours of Northern Ireland and Bosnia.
After returning from a six-month tour in Afghanistan in October 2011, his family say he was sent immediately to Cyprus instead of taking post-tour leave and then felt pressurised to attend more training courses after that.
They say that he was struggling to deal with the traumas of his tour where he witnessed the death of several colleagues and was assigned a military community psychiatric nurse.
However, they claim that his treatment involved one session and then no further offers of help were given.
Having visited him this week, his sister said his condition has severely deteriorated over the last month and despite a significant increase in his medication, he continues to suffer from severe flashbacks.
Miss Killick said: “Harry is frightened and cannot understand why his beloved army has abandoned him.
“He is confused and feels he’s being tortured by his own people and is again talking about taking his own life.
“He lives in a state of constant flashbacks reliving the horrors that he has endured.
“The help he is getting is minimal, sporadic and perhaps even more damaging.
“We are all struggling to handle the situation, and are also bewildered as to why he’d be treated this way.”
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