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Chilcot report: Terry and Susan Poole, from Broomfield, among families of soldiers killed in Iraq

A long-awaited report into the Iraq War has found the UK did not exhaust all peaceful options before joining the invasion.

Chairman of the official inquiry into the war, Sir John Chilcot, found the circumstances behind the decision for military action in Iraq were "far from satisfactory".

The report, published at 11.35am today, found that intelligence "did not justify" then-Prime Minister Tony Blair's certainty that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

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Sarah-Jayne Mulvihill was killed in Iraq
Sarah-Jayne Mulvihill was killed in Iraq

Chilcot said he hoped the report would help answer some questions for families of the 179 Britons who died between 2003 and 2009.

But the parents of a Kent servicewoman killed in the conflict said the findings would make no difference to them.

Terry and Susan Poole lost their daughter Fl Lt Sarah-Jayne Mulvihill in May, 2006 when the Lynx helicopter she was flying in was shot down by Iraqi insurgents.

Speaking from their home in Broomfield, near Herne Bay, after the publication this morning, they said the outcome wouldn't change anything for them.

VIDEO: Terry and Susan Poole's daughter died in the Iraq war

Terry, 64, a retired carpenter, said: "We've come to terms with our loss although it still hurts. Whatever it says makes no difference whatsoever and won't bring anyone back.

“It’s always easier in hindsight but I think we went to war with the best of the intentions even if some of the information now turns out to be flawed.

“It’s damning in some respects but a lot of what is being said in the report was already out there.

“Even if Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction at the time of the invasion, it may well have had in a few years time.

“The trouble is that I don’t think a lot of families will get want they want out of it - and that is someone held directly responsible.”

Sarah-Jayne, who attended Barton Court School and grew up in Broomfield, was among five killed in the helicopter when it was brought down over Basra.

She had been an airwoman for nine years and was a flight operations manager involved in general intelligence briefings and planned air movements.

Anti-war protest in 2003. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images.
Anti-war protest in 2003. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images.

She was described by her senior officers as bright, upbeat and unselfish as well as ambitious and competitive. She was married to a fellow airman Lee Mulvihill.

Susan, 63, a retired mental health team manager, said: "I think there are people who need closure. I'm just sad it has taken so long and cost so much money. It's ridiculous."

Terry added: "I really hope that people who need it get closure, but we don't. We've had our closure and the RAF were very good to us. We have come to terms with it but obviously some people haven't."

Susan said: "We've never been angry because it was her job and she enjoyed it and it was her life.

"We've got too many good, happy memories and if you're angry for too long you get bitter. We do know people who have split up over it because they are so angry, which is sad.

"We have memories of Sarah we will treasure for the rest of our lives but life has to go on.

"Sarah was proud to do her job and knew what the consequences might be and that didn't deter her one iota."

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