My horror at PoW sex abuse pics
The article in Arabic
By JOHN SCOTT
and MICHAEL LEA
THE young mum who uncovered the Iraqi PoW sex snaps
scandal said last night: “I felt sick to the stomach at those pictures.”
Kelly Tilford, 22, called police after
developing a film in her photo shop.
The shocking pictures — revealed by The
Sun yesterday — showed male Iraqis apparently forced into sexual positions by
their British captors. In another a prisoner was suspended by rope from a
fork-lift truck driven by a laughing Brit.
Fusilier Gary Bartlam, 18, of Tamworth,
Staffs, is being grilled by the Army’s top criminal investigator — amid fears
the scandal is the tip of an iceberg.
Disgusted Kelly said she knew she
had to call police after seeing the horrific scenes in Gulf War II snaps she
had just developed.
Kelly said: “I immediately realised
something terribly wrong had happened and something had to be done about it.
“I started shaking and was panicking in
case the guy came back before I could raise the alarm.”
She spoke out last night as Bartlam, of
the 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was in custody.
Four snaps on Bartlam’s roll of 25 exposures shocked the mum-of-two.
Quiz ... Gulf War soldier
Fusilier Gary Bartlam, 18
apparently taken in a warehouse. It showed a man stripped at least to the
waist and suspended high in the air by a rope attached to one of the forks on
a fork-lift truck.
More rope bound him throughout the
length of his body.
He was hanging horizontally and his
frightened face was in close-up. A soldier driving the fork-lift truck could
be seen in the background, staring at his victim and apparently laughing.
showed a pair of white legs and the head of a male Iraqi.
The hand of a man behind the Iraqi’s
head appeared to be forcing him to perform oral sex.
The Iraqi was squatting and again
appeared to be at least naked to the waist. The soldier’s face was not
A THIRD picture
showed a pair of bare backsides. One Iraqi man was on his knees on the floor
with his body bent.
Another was pressed behind him, tightly
moulding his body like a spoon in what seemed to be a sexual position.
THE FOURTH snap showed
two naked Iraqis cowering on the ground as if thrown there.
Kelly, who has children aged two and
eight months, said Fusilier Bartlam called at the Max Spielmann photo shop
where she works in Tamworth, Staffs, on Wednesday.
The young soldier, who was home on
leave after the war, left a roll of film to be developed into 7in x 5in
prints within an hour.
She went on: “I went to the mini-lab.
As you put the film through, you are meant to check the pictures on a screen
to ensure they are printed properly.
“You have never got time to watch all
of them, because you are inevitably doing something else. We had been very
“I had already processed the films of
one or two soldiers back from Iraq and had told them, ‘Congratulations, well
done,’ when they came to collect their photos.
Fork-lift horror ... artist's impression
of Iraqi PoW's ordeal
"But when I started cutting the negatives on this batch, I looked at
one and noticed immediately that it seemed a bit strange. I took a closer
“At first appearance, it had seemed
like soldiers having a laugh.
“Then I realised it was a half-naked
Iraqi being hauled high into the air by a forklift truck while bound hand and
“I saw the look on his face. He was
“I will never forget that terrible
stare. I immediately thought, ‘That’s not right’.
“Then I saw some sexual pictures. One
looked like an Iraqi PoW being forced to give a soldier oral sex. I think the
Iraqi was naked — you could just see the top half of him and the bottom half
of the soldier.
“There was also a close-up of the naked
backsides of two Iraqis, as if they were simulating anal sex.
“Another shot showed two Iraqis lying
naked on the ground as if they had just been thrown there. There didn’t seem
anything wrong with the other photos. They were just pictures of Iraqi
soldiers surrendering — the sort of thing you saw on the TV during the war.”
Kelly, who has only worked at the shop
for eight weeks, said: “It should have cost the guy £5.99 but he never paid
for those pictures in the end.
“I was worried and waited for my
colleague to come back from lunch. She just took one look and said, ‘Oh my
gosh — we have got to call the police’.
“We phoned our area manager to tell him
what we were doing.
“The lad was due back any minute to
collect his photos, so we agreed to tell him they were not ready because
there was a problem with the machine.
“He came back before the police
arrived. We told him the machine was not working and it would be another half
Shock ... Kelly spotted photos
“As I said that he blushed — as if he knew
something was wrong. He stayed in the shop 15 to 20 minutes and I could not
bring myself to look at him.
“I eventually said, ‘Look, we have got
to get a technician out. If you want to call back’. I told him to leave his
telephone number so we could call when the film was ready.
“He agreed and just as he was leaving,
a police sergeant arrived. Fortunately it was a detective in plain clothes,
so the soldier was none the wiser.
“There was nothing we could do at that stage
because he had not seen the pictures.
“After the detective saw them, he
contacted his office and we rang the soldier to say the film was ready for
“When he came into the shop, the
sergeant was waiting for him and called out his name. The lad said ‘Yeah’ and
confessed to the copper that the pictures were his.
“The officer showed him his badge and
took him through to the back of the shop. He went straight away. He didn’t
struggle or anything.
“About half an hour later an unmarked
blue car pulled up outside and they took him away. The police then came back
later to take a statement from me about what I saw.
“The lad was in some of the pictures,
but not all of them.
“I don’t know which photos he had taken
and which had been taken of him, because some were such close-ups you could
not see the faces of those involved.
Kelly added: “I don’t feel guilty about
calling in the police. I know people who have been fighting in Iraq.
“I am as proud as anybody of what our
forces did out there — but there are rules.
“I would not want any of my friends to
be treated like those Iraqis on the photographs. We are a great nation.
“But we would lose our self-respect and
much more besides if we allowed ourselves and our troops to stoop this low.”
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers served in Iraq with
the 7th Armoured Brigade, the legendary Desert Rats of World War II fame. The
regiment is based in Celle, Germany.
Major General Ken Perkins, The Sun’s military adviser, said last night: “This
involves a breakdown in discipline going far beyond one or two soldiers.
“Individuals might occasionally get away with it unknown to their officers or
“But there is something very wrong if a number can do it without their
superiors knowing or discovering it.
“The Army has no place for NCOs and officers who condone such behaviour, or
are too weak to prevent it.”
The controversy is the latest to hit British troops over their alleged
behaviour in the Gulf.
Lt Col Tim Collins, former CO of the 1st Royal Irish Regiment, is being
investigated over accusations he mistreated Iraqi civilians and PoWs.
The Bartlam and Collins inquiries are not connected.
DO YOU know Fusilier
Gary Bartlam? Call The Sun on 020 7782 4105. We’ll call you straight back.
'More to come'
THE Army probe into the photos scandal has been stepped up amid fears that a
“hornets’ nest” of horror could be unearthed.
Lt Col Jeremy Green, commanding officer of the Special Investigations Branch,
last night took personal charge of the inquiry.
And a source close to the investigation said: “There is a genuine fear that
this is not just a scandal involving one 18-year-old Fusilier.
“Our biggest worry is that the reputation of 1 Battalion, the Royal Regiment
of Fusiliers, will be besmirched.”
Fuslier Gary Bartlam, 18, is being held in custody at an Army base where he
is being grilled by senior Special Investigation Branch officers. He is
unlikely to be released until the probe is completed.
One source said that some of the photos appeared to show simulated sex acts
but “even if that is so, it would not excuse the behaviour.”
A Royal Military Police source said: “We are braced for more scandals to come
out — it could become a real hornets’ nest with more horrific revelations.
“But we have a duty to investigate thoroughly and no stone will be left
“Whatever the circumstances, there is no excuse for British soldiers to
maltreat PoWs. Our first job is to establish how many of the regiment may be
“That includes finding out if NCOs and platoon commander knew of these
Lt Col Green immediately widened the probe to cover the entire regiment.
A lieutenant who was Bartlam’s platoon commander, plus a sergeant and three
corporals, will be quizzed and statements taken from others in Bartlam’s
A senior Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: “If there is any truth in
these allegations the MoD is appalled and would stress we take our
responsibilities to PoWs extremely seriously.”