A soldier facing five years in jail for stealing a gun from his barracks is “a damaged individual damaged in the service of his country”.
A psychiatrist had judged that Corporal Harry Killick of Brighton was “finding adjusting to civilian life rather difficult” but was not suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after colleagues and families raised concerns about his behaviour.
But a medical assessment conducted as part of the court case has now ruled that Cpl Killick was in need of treatment for PTSD after witnessing the death of colleagues in Afghanistan.
Judge Anthony Scott-Gall yesterday (February 18) described Cpl Killick as “a damaged individual damaged in the service of his country”.
Cpl Killick stole an assault rifle from TA Army barracks in Dyke Road, Brighton, in October in what he claims was a suicide bid which could see him jailed for a minimum of five years.
The 36-year-old was arrested in October at the home of his former wife and her new partner in Ditchling Rise, Brighton, by Sussex Police officers after taking a gun from the TA barracks in Dyke Road, Brighton.
Cpl Killick, who has pleaded guilty to the charges, and his family will have an extra fortnight to learn his fate after Judge Scott-Gall agreed to defer sentencing and remand him in custody for up to 14 days at Lewes Crown Court.
His defence lawyer Steve Wedd has been given more time to make arrangements for the supervision and treatment of Cpl Killick should he be given a suspended two-year sentence.
Speaking outside court, his sister Linda Killick said the family were grateful the judge was exploring all sentencing options.
The court heard how Cpl Killick had witnessed support troops he had called in die after hitting a roadside bomb during a fire fight in Afghanistan in October 2011.
His behaviour became increasingly erratic on his return home from duty.
His ex-wife had reported concerns to his colleagues on the day of the theft of the firearms after he handed her his car keys and bank cards and told her he would not be seeing her or his two children again.
Cpl Killick had attempted to kill himself at Beachy Head in August 2012 but was talked out of it after a phone call from his sister.
Addressing Cpl Killick, Judge Scott-Gall said: “If I accept exceptional circumstances, you will have treatment having been deprived of treatment since returning from Afghanistan in March last year.”
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