Ex-Para defends his tale of killings: Falklands inquiry

Vincent Bramley, the former lance-corporal whose allegations the Ministry of Defence say sparked off the police inquiry, said yesterday that he never intended his book to have such a far- reaching effect.

Mr Bramley, 35, who fought with 3 Para at Mount Longdon, strongly defended the conduct of his regiment in the Falklands. He said he had merely intended to give a realistic account of the battle.

In his only interview since the announcement of the police inquiry, Mr Bramley told the Independent on Sunday: 'I wrote the book because there had not been one published about 3 Para on Mount Longdon. Most of my colleagues - ranking soldiers up to junior officers - thought it was the most realistic account they had read about the Falklands, although some higher-up people didn't like it so much.'

He added: 'It was not written from the point of view of a military historian, it was written for the general public. It was certainly never my aim to bring my regiment into disrepute or to cause it to be damaged in any way.'

Mr Bramley, who will be one of the first witnesses to be interviewed by detectives, added: 'The enemy were far more dirty in their warfare than us. In close-quarter combat it is extremely difficult to control the battle by the book.

'The regiment and my friends fought with courage. I'm only saddened that interest in my book has perhaps been steered away from the horrors which were inflicted on us.'

Mr Bramley was sentenced in 1987 to three years in prison for stealing Army explosives. The court was told that he and another Falklands veteran had planned to sell them to the Foreign Legion. Mr Bramley said yesterday: 'I have always maintained my innocence.' He says he was framed. He wasparoled after 12 months. 'The Army said when I was in court that my military record was unblemished.'

Mr Bramley said that all charges against him were dropped, except one relating to six thunderflashes, which he still denies.

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