‘The American’s life not more important than my husband’s’: Wife of killed soldier demands prosecution

UK

The widow of a British soldier killed in a road accident while serving in Cyprus has demanded that the US serviceman involved faces prosecution.

Colour Sergeant Anthony Oxley, who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, died after his motorcycle was involved in a collision with a car at RAF Akrotiri in June 2016.

His widow Sally has been campaigning for more details of the 40-year-old’s death to be made public.

An inquest in the UK in 2018 recorded a narrative verdict that CSgt Oxley’s death had been caused by multiple blunt force injuries to his head due to the collision.

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CSgt Oxley had served in Afghanistan and Iraq

But a new translation of the proceedings of the Cypriot inquest reveals evidence from the investigating officer that there was “sufficient evidence” to prosecute the other driver “for causing death by reckless/dangerous acts”.

The coroner wrote that, according to the officer, the reason why no criminal charges were brought was “because the person in question was a soldier in the American Air Force and the American authorities had taken over the investigation”.

In his report, the coroner concluded: “There is testimony before me which demonstrates that possibly the actions, acts or omissions of third parties may have led to the death of the deceased.”

More on Cyprus

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Anthony Oxley and his wife Sally

Sally Oxley, who lives in South Yorkshire, has requested a new UK inquest into her husband’s death and she wants the Cypriot authorities to re-investigate. She also wants the US serviceman to face charges.

She told Sky News: “The American’s life is not more important than my husband’s life.

“I understand that he’s passed away but he served 21 years for his country. He has a right. It can’t just be shoved under the carpet. You can’t take someone’s life and it just go away.

“Let’s get the truth out there. I would like to see him prosecuted. You can’t take a man’s life and be whisked back to America to live your life and leave a family in absolute turmoil.”

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Sally Oxley has been campaigning for more details to be released about her husband’s death

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The couple had a daughter together

In a statement to Sky News, the United States Air Force said it conducted thorough investigations into CSgt Oxley’s death with the base authorities.

It said the commander of the US Third Air Force visited the scene to review the evidence.

“The commander reviewed the entire investigation and all of the evidence, including analysing the shadows on the road, the speed of the vehicles, and the frequency of accidents occurring when vehicle drivers do not see motorcycles attempting to execute a turn.

“Ultimately, Air Force authorities concluded the Air Force driver did not see the oncoming motorcycle and executed the turn believing the turn area was clear.

“The United States Air Force took great care in investigating this case and still expresses condolences to Colour Sergeant Oxley’s family over this tragic loss of life of our British partner.”

Nearly eight years on, it is the first time CSgt Oxley’s family have heard details of that investigation. Its conclusions differ from those of the original investigator.

The US serviceman involved left the military in 2017.

Addressing him directly, Mrs Oxley said: “You’ve got no strength in you to say ‘I am sorry’, you never apologised once. I believe you should’ve faced prosecution and I know you believe you should have too.”

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She says her campaign will continue, especially for the couple’s daughter.

“There’s been many times I’ve not wanted to get out of bed, I’ve just wanted to quit but I look at a photo and think ‘You wouldn’t give up on me, I’m not going to give up on you’.

“We’ll see this out.”

A spokesperson for the UK Attorney General’s Office said: “I can confirm that we have received an application from Sally Oxley for permission to apply to the High Court for a fresh inquest and we are considering it.”

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