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Cyprus crash death soldier widow starts crowdfund

[Press center6] time:2023-06-02 04:33:31 source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center4 click:189order

The widow of a British soldier killed at an RAF base in Cyprus has turned to crowdfunding in her fight for answers over her husband's death.

Colour Sgt Anthony Oxley died in a crash at RAF Akrotiri in June 2016.

An inquest in Cyprus was adjourned on Tuesday because a report into an investigation by the Service Base Area Police was missing, his widow said.

Sally Oxley said £100,000 was needed to fund the legal process including a bid for a fresh inquest in the UK.

"I've been battling this for seven years on my own. I'm funding it myself and I just cannot do it," she said.

"I'm not going to stop until we get answers.

"This is my husband, the father of my child. He deserves the truth."

Colour Sgt Oxley, 40, from Ryhill, near Wakefield, had been riding a motorbike while on deployment when he was hit by a car driven by a US serviceman on British territory.

The original inquest in Wakefield in February 2018 recorded a narrative verdict and found the cause of death were head injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.

However, the US Air Force took charge of the crash investigation and few details were made public.

Mrs Oxley, who is from Huddersfield but now lives in Barnsley, said there were "many unanswered questions" and has since been pushing for a new inquest.

She said funds were needed to pay for legal teams in Britain and Cyprus.

"It's driving us insane.

"[But] I think the end is near.

"We've got the evidence. We just need to have the inquest and to have the American called upon and the witnesses, which were never ever spoken about before, to be there in court to give their versions of actually what happened.

"So the end is close. It's now just down to the funding."

The 45-year-old said the inquest in Cyprus had been adjourned until 13 June, the day before the seventh anniversary of her husband's death.

She said there had been "absolutely no support from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) financially or emotionally".

But the MoD said: "Our thoughts remain with Sgt Oxley's family and we continue to offer support to them during this difficult time.

"It would be inappropriate to comment while the inquest is ongoing."

The MoD said the Service Base Area Police, under the Visiting Forces Act 1952, were not able to bring a prosecution "where jurisdiction has been exercised by the visiting force".

It confirmed the US Air Force Special Investigations team had decided the serviceman involved in the accident would face no charges and "this decision was reviewed three times".

This latest inquest in Cyprus is the second in under two years, both conducted by the Cypriot government.

The first was adjourned last year after Mrs Oxley was given a file containing witness statements - which she said included evidence contradicting the US account - an hour before the hearing was due to start.

The US Air Force has been approached for a comment.

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(editor-in-charge:Press center6)

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