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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 15:08 GMT
Army Major accused of kit delays
Gordon Gentle
Fusilier Gordon Gentle died while travelling on an escort
An army logistician has been accused of failing to distribute a bomb jamming device to troops in Iraq.

Maj David Towndrow, of the Royal Logistics Corps, appeared as a witness at the inquest of Fusilier Gordon Gentle, 19, from Glasgow.

Fusilier Gentle was killed by a bomb in Basra on 28 June, 2004.

Maj Towndrow denied he had failed to order the distribution of new kit which could have disabled a roadside bomb and saved Fusilier Gentle's life.

The inquest in Oxford has heard how electronic counter measure kits were in theatre at the time but had not been distributed and fitted to vehicles.

The kits were to be fitted and in use by 16 June.

Fusilier Gentle's battalion of the Royal Highland Fusiliers got them hours after his death.

Maj Towndrow's job was to send out a "task issue", the inquest heard.

This authorised storeroom staff to distribute the kit and alerted units that it was ready to be sent out.

Nick Brown, barrister for Fusilier Gentle's family, said: "You never gave instructions to distribute that document and that's why it was not distributed to the units."

Maj Towndrow said: "I disagree. I believe I sent it.

"My recollection is that I would have signed that document, checked it over, sent it out and put a note on for it to be copied and circulated."

He said he had never experienced any problems with the equipment supply chain in theatre before.

Fusilier Gentle's mother Rose has claimed her son would be alive if a device had been installed on his Land Rover.

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