A FORMER paratrooper who shot dead two bodyguard colleagues during a gun rampage in Iraq has gone on hunger strike and wants to be brought back to the UK.
Daniel Fitzsimons, 35, gunned down ex-Royal Marine Paul McGuigan, from Peebles, and Australian Darren Hoare, both 37, while they were in Baghdad working for security firm ArmorGroup, a subsidiary of G4S.
He later claimed he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after a number of army tours which left him suffering flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety attacks.
In 2011, Fitzsimons, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, who was hired by G4S despite a previous robbery conviction, escaped the death penalty for the double murder. He was jailed instead for 20 years in Iraq.
But at an inquest into the death of Mr McGuigan this week, it was revealed Fitzsimons is refusing to eat and wants to be transferred to a British jail to serve his sentence.
He also wants to give evidence at the inquest, which is due to continue today in Stockport, Cheshire.
Lawyer Paul Clark, on behalf of Fitzsimons’ stepmother Liz, told the inquest: “I am informed that considerable progress has been made. This morning, Mrs Fitzsimons received a telephone call due to ongoing correspondence between her and the Foreign Commonwealth Office in relation to his transfer.”
Mr McGuigan had been a marine before taking up work as a bodyguard, during which time he spent two years providing security to the late Beatles guitarist George Harrison.
The killings occurred on 9 August, 2009, just 36 hours after Fitzsimons arrived in Iraq to start work.
He had been due to appear in court in Bolton accused of assaulting a man on a train and also of a firearms offence where he used a flare gun to scare off teenagers outside his flat.
It later emerged he had forged his recruitment documents and G4S had failed to properly check his criminal record.
Mr McGuigan’s fiancée Nicola Prestage, from Droylsden, Greater Manchester, was pregnant when he was killed.
She gave birth to their daughter prematurely one week after she had to identify his body once it was repatriated.
Ms Prestage, who met her partner in April 2007, told the hearing in Stockport that the couple were inseparable when he was back home on leave from Iraq for three weeks at a time. Speaking about the last time she spoke to him, she said: “We went on Skype. We discussed baby names and chose a cot and my daughter spoke to him about a riding lesson she had been on. Everything was fine and normal.
“He did tell me he had gone to the villas and he had picked someone up but he was a dodgy character. He didn’t name him but I found out later it was Danny Fitzsimons. He thought the guy was a bit weird. He didn’t think he was staying on the camp; he thought he was moving on the next day.”