YEP Says, September 17: Thai beach killings will strike fear into hearts of parents

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...and John’s 50-year fight for an Army pension

IT is every parent’s worst nightmare. You wave your son or daughter off on an adventure to a far-flung destination and tragedy strikes.

Thoughts today are with the families of David Miller and Hannah Witheridge, the two tourists found murdered on a beach in Thailand.

David, 24, was studying civil and structural engineering at Leeds University and was due to return to the city shortly to complete the final year of his master’s degree.

In a statement released through the Foreign Office, his family described him as “hard-working, bright and conscientious, with everything to look forward to”, adding, “we all adored him”.

It doesn’t seem long ago that the family of fellow Leeds student Meredith Kercher were issuing similar statements after she was murdered during a year studying in Italy.

Such appalling incidents understandably strike terror into the hearts of parents who worry about their children’s safety while they are travelling abroad.

But the sad truth is that tragedy can strike anywhere. And while sensible precautions should be taken, there’s often no legislating for what can happen.

That, of course, will be no comfort to David’s distraught family and friends. But the hope now is that they at least see whoever killed him and Hannah caught and brought to justice.

John’s 50-year fight for his Army pension

IN yesterday’s YEP we told the story of Peter Paylor, the 91-year-old war veteran who has finally received his service medal after a 66-year wait.

Today we highlight the plight of John Margerison, who has been fighting for 50 years to prove that Army gunfire made him deaf.

He says he suffered perforated eardrums testing new weapons as a young soldier in Hong Kong as he wore no protection – but he is still battling for an Army pension.

His MP says there has been “a clear conspiracy” to deny him the payments he’s due. If that’s the case, it’s high time the Ministry of Defence put it right.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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