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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 19:19 GMT
Reid to probe soldier car crash
Gemma Montgomery
Gemma died in a car her boyfriend was driving
Defence Secretary John Reid is to investigate the death of a County Down woman in a road accident involving her soldier boyfriend.

Gemma Montgomery, 18, from Bangor, died when a car driven by her boyfriend Gordon Godley crashed three years ago.

Two warrants had been issued for his arrest by a court in Scotland six months before the accident.

Her family said if the Army had ensured his appearance in court the crash may never have happened.

Gemma died in an accident on the main Bangor to Belfast Road.

Her mother, Esther, said the family needed answers.

She said: "An apology will never bring Gemma back.

"But at least I would feel they had owned up and said: 'OK, hands up, we did not do what was right; we should have sent him over to Scotland to answer to the court'".

North Down UUP MP Sylvia Hermon has taken up the case and met the former Northern Ireland secretary, Mr Reid, at the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Mr Reid expressed his sympathy and undertook to personally look into the matter.

The accident happened on the Belfast to Bangor Road
The accident happened on the Belfast to Bangor Road

Lady Hermon said: "I specifically asked for an apology to be given to Mrs Montgomery; that seems the least that could be offered from the Army.

"More to the point, I would like the truth.

"The truth from the Army as to what actually happened in the Palace Barracks for six months which delayed the proper execution of those arrest warrants against Private Gordon Godley."

BBC Northern Ireland political editor Mark Devenport said: "Army sources say they co-operated with the authorities in Scotland, but did not have the power to arrest Gordon Godley themselves.

"It will now be up to John Reid to decide if more should have been done and whether an apology is warranted. "





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