Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Friend faults military in suicide of soldier

A former soldier says the military failed to keep a close enough eye on a suicidal Afghan vet the day he killed himself. Kirk Lackie testified Wednesday at the Military Police Complaints Commission inquiry into Cpl. Stuart Langridge's death.

A former soldier says the military failed to keep a close enough eye on a suicidal Afghan vet the day he killed himself.

Kirk Lackie testified Wednesday at the Military Police Complaints Commission inquiry into Cpl. Stuart Langridge's death.

The inquiry was called following complaints from his parents, Sheila and Shaun Fynes of Victoria, that the investigations into Langridge's suicide were botched.

Lackie was a last-minute addition to the witness list; he asked to testify.

"I want Stu's [mother] and everybody to know the truth about what's going on because right from the getgo, other names have been named and whatever, and the truth has not been told," Lackie said at the close of emotional testimony.

He had met Langridge early in their training and formed a bond that later deepened over their shared struggles with addiction.

The inquiry has previously heard that Langridge drank and used drugs, and was in and out of rehab. There has also been significant disagreement about whether he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

He had tried to kill himself on previous occasions.

Langridge, 28, was aware he had problems, Lackie said, but they were difficult for him to overcome.

"It's hard to think you're addicted when you are already drunk," Lackie testified.

Lackie said everyone on the base knew about Langridge's struggles, but dismissed them.

The night before Langridge killed himself, in 2008, Lackie said he tried to take him to an Alcoholics Anonymous counselling session, but the soldier refused.

The next day, Lackie was in the base's duty centre and happened to see the logbook set up to monitor Langridge.

Langridge had been placed on a suicide watch and someone was supposed to check on him roughly every 30 minutes.

That wasn't what the logbook showed, Lackie said.

"And I said to the duty driver, it's been three and half hours since someone checked on Stu. I said why don't you fly ... over there and check on him?" Lackie testified.

Elements of Lackie's testimony were questioned by both lawyers for the commission and the Crown.

Commission counsel suggested the soldiers Lackie said he spoke to that day weren't actually working, while the Crown wondered why none of the ones who have previously testified mentioned Lackie's presence on that day.

"That's because he's still in the military," Lackie replied.

Langridge hanged himself in his room at CFB Edmonton.