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I joined the British Army and the Intelligence Corps in 1984 and spent 25 years engaged in intelligence operations. I developed an expertise in Human Intelligence and Surveillance and took part in a number of operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq. I also enjoyed postings to Cyprus, the United States of America, New Zealand, Israel, Dubai and Norway.
As well as working with foreign armies, I also worked with domestic and foreign Intelligence Agencies and Special Forces and was able to add an array of other operational skills to my portfolio.
Prior to the war in Iraq in 2003, I had been working closely with Army Legal Services and saw an opportunity to develop my skills further and decided to undertake a law degree with the Open University. My war in Iraq was cut short however, after I was injured in a Friendly Fire Incident and I returned to the United Kingdom and was treated at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.
Despite my injury, I remained in the Army and in 2006 I was commissioned into the Intelligence Corps as a Captain. In 2007, after completing my law degree, I left the Army and enrolled onto the Legal Practice Course at Sheffield University. In September 2010, I began my training contract at Irwin Mitchell and undertook a variety of Personal Injury seats.
Because of my background, I was able to work closely with the Armed Forces Team and in September 2012, I successfully qualified as a solicitor.
I am also a Trustee of Help 4 Homeless Veterans, a charity that supports members of HM Forces who are facing homelessness.
“Mark suffered horrific injuries which he is still working hard to overcome and adapt to. Mark has struggled with everyday tasks that many of us are able to take for granted, such as simply moving from room to room within his own home.
“With an amputation comes a lifetime of adaptations and adjustments both physically and mentally.
”We have been working with Mark to secure the funding he needs for the rest of his life to help him live as independently as possible and to get the rehabilitation and suitable prosthetics to enable him to do this.
“Many of our injured soldiers go on to represent the country in the Paralympics or the Invictus Games and one of the reasons for this is that they are able to combine their determination to succeed with high quality prosthetics and care. But some still don’t know they may be entitled to support beyond the AFCS.”
“Clearly being in the armed forces is a potentially dangerous vocation, but no soldier should face injury during downtime at their barracks – and not at the hands of members of their own regiment.
“This incident and the other cases we are conducting raise the concern that violent initiation ceremonies are still being carried out in the military today. In this case what may have been passed off historically as youthful exuberance among the rank and file has resulted in a life changing injury which has destroyed a young man’s military career as well as impacting on his future prospects.
“This outdated practice should have no place in modern soldiering and new recruits who face injury and death on the field of battle should not have to fear it on home soil during their training.
”Oliver needs support to help him not only adapt back to civilian life, but also to adapt to being left partially blind. It will have an impact on his future prospects and we are seeking to secure the help he needs to overcome his injuries.”
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