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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 September 2005, 06:36 GMT 07:36 UK
Profile: Lynndie England
US Pte Lynndie England has been found guilty of abusing prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail.

Lynndie England
England: Joined the reserves to pay her way through college

A military jury in Texas convicted her on one count of conspiracy, four counts of maltreating detainees and one count of committing an indecent act.

England, 22, was acquitted on a second conspiracy count.

She has become the face of a scandal that has stained the US military's reputation.

The world has seen her in a series of photos: grinning behind a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners and holding an Iraqi detainee on a leash at Abu Ghraib jail.

The soldier pleaded guilty at a court martial in May under a plea deal that would have reduced her sentence to a maximum of 11 years.

But in a move that shocked military legal experts, a judge rejected the plea agreement and declared a mistrial.

He said testimony from Charles Graner, already convicted over his role in the abuse, suggested that Pte England did not genuinely believe she was guilty.

Graner started a relationship with Pte England while in Iraq. He fathered Pte England's child, who was born in October 2004.

England with her parents
Pte England's father Kenneth was a railway worker

Graner testified that the infamous picture of Pte England holding an Iraqi detainee on a leash was taken to train other soldiers in how to handle prisoners.

But earlier, Pte England had told the court that the pictures were taken merely for amusement.

'Scapegoat'

Pte England has been cast as the opposite of the all-American heroine Jessica Lynch, who was rescued from captors in Iraq.

But supporters say England, who grew up in a West Virginia trailer park, is a scapegoat.

Pte England has previously said she was ordered to pose for the pictures by officers higher up the chain of command, and that she was told to "soften up" prisoners for interrogations.

Army investigators testified during hearings last year that England said the reservists took the photos while "they were joking around, having some fun".

Lynndie Rana England was born in Ashland, Kentucky, in 1982, but moved with her parents Kenneth and Terrie to Fort Ashby, West Virginia, when she was two years old.

RELATED CASES
Spec Megan Ambuhl: guilty plea - lost rank and got Other than Honourable discharge
Spec Armin Cruz: guilty plea - 8 months in jail, bad conduct discharge
Staff Sgt Ivan L Frederick II: guilty plea - 8 years in jail, dishonourable discharge
Spec Charles A Graner Jr: found guilty and given 10 years, dishonourable discharge
Spec Jeremy Sivits: guilty plea - 1 year in jail, bad conduct discharge
Sgt Javal S Davis: guilty plea - 6 months in jail, bad conduct discharge
Spec Roman Krol: guilty plea - 10 months in jail, bad conduct discharge
Spec Sabrina Harman: not guilty plea - trial due to start 11 May 2005
Source: III Corps at Fort Hood

After leaving school, she joined the US Army reserves to help pay her way through college.

On leaving high school in 2001, she got a job as a cashier in a supermarket and was briefly married to a colleague.

She was sent to Iraq in 2003. She was supposed to have been a clerk at the now-infamous Baghdad prison, but she found herself guarding prisoners.

While in Iraq, she began her relationship with Graner.

Last October, Pte England gave birth to their son at Womack Army Medical Center on Fort Bragg, where she was stationed after returning from Iraq.

Graner was sentenced to 10 years detention at a court martial hearing in January.

Jeremy Sivits, another soldier jailed for a year for his part in what went on, told a military court he had seen Pte England and Graner "stomping" on the fingers and toes of detainees.

In May 2004, the BBC visited the town where Pte England grew up.

Some residents said Pte England was a model soldier who only did what she was told and must have been acting on commands from above.


SEE ALSO
Iraq prison abuse 'leader' jailed
16 Jan 05 |  Americas

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