Page last updated at 17:16 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009

Shot guard's partner details loss


Nicci Prestage gave birth to the couple's daughter last month

The fiancee of a security guard who was shot dead in Iraq weeks before she gave birth to their child, has spoken about her sense of loss.

Nicci Prestage, from Droylsden, Greater Manchester, was due to marry 37-year-old Paul McGuigan in 2010.

But the former Royal Marine, originally from Peebles, Scotland, was shot dead alongside colleague Darren Hoare in Baghdad on 9 August.

Danny Fitzsimons, 33, is due to go on trial in Iraq charged with murder.

All three men worked as private security guards for British security firm, ArmorGroup.

It's been horrific, it just takes away the joy of having a new baby
Nicci Prestage

Mr Fitzsimons is due to go on trial on Sunday and, if convicted, he could face the death penalty under Iraq's law.

Ms Prestage, 36, gave birth to Elsie-Mai almost five weeks early in October after the stress of the death of her partner.

"It's been horrific, it just takes away the joy of having a new baby," she said.

"I try to be happy because we have got a healthy baby girl and she's absolutely gorgeous but I would have to say it is bitter-sweet, he's never going to see his baby, never going to get to hold her.

"He would have absolutely adored her and never put her down."

'Post-traumatic stress'

Ms Prestage had been talking to Mr McGuigan over the internet just over an hour before he was shot dead.

She was expecting a call the following morning but was instead called by a representative of ArmorGroup, informing her of his death.

"It was just really numb disbelief, I didn't feel like he had gone and left me," she said.

"Even now 13 weeks on, it is just disbelief something like this could happen."

The family of Mr Fitzsimons, who is from Middleton, Greater Manchester, have been calling for him to be tried in the UK.

They claim he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of serving for eight years in the British army.

But Ms Prestage wants the trial to remain in Iraq.

"It goes to trial on Sunday. I have got no views on what's going to happen to him," she said.

"I just want Iraq to give justice the way they see fit."

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