Combat hero Trevor Coult MC says he has been left “angry” after a homeless RAF veteran reportedly died of hypothermia while sleeping rough.
Coult was awarded the Military Cross for bravery after being ambushed by insurgents in Baghdad. Acting as the top cover sentry in a convoy vehicle, his quick-thinking and decision to return fire on attackers meant two other vehicles could retreat.
He is then said to have assisted with a stalled vehicle by providing cover for it. But now, speaking to GB News, he has hit out after veteran Malcolm Livingstone died while waiting for accommodation.
The veteran was a pallbearer for Princess Diana’s coffin at her funeral. However, he died from hypothermia while sleeping rough after a mix-up which left him without emergency accommodation, reports the Scottish Daily Express.
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Coult has now branded the number of homeless veterans a “travesty”. He pointed out the Government’s willingness to house “asylum seekers” in army barracks as one of his causes for concern.
Speaking on GB News, he said: “I’m angry that this has happened. Back in November 2021, the Government put out an emergency pandemic crisis where they wanted to get all rough sleepers off the streets.
“Would that not have been the perfect time to find out if they were veterans or not? It would have been the perfect time to write down their army service number, where they served, and we would have had a proper indication of how many homeless veterans we have. But we didn’t — we ignored it.”
Presenter Patrick Christy told audiences the country has “got accommodation” and “got money” to re-home veterans but instead leave them in favour for those arriving from other nations.
Coult revealed he had contacted his local MP, Suffolk Coastal representative Thérèse Coffey, to raise concerns about homeless veterans in army barracks.
He explained: “I wrote to my MP a couple of years ago and I said about utilising an empty military barracks for homeless veterans which could get them off the street. We could bring in veterans who cooked and cleaned, and teach them trades.
“Get them back on to getting benefits and getting them off the streets.”
Coult claimed he had a reply from the MoD saying it did not own the barracks so could not house homeless veterans. He added: “They seem to find these empty barracks for asylum seekers and they exploit and destroy our veterans.
“There are thousands of them out there still waiting in compensation, and the Government is too heavy-handed to help them out. It’s a travesty.”
Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, has been used to house asylum seekers since 2020. Originally a “contingency” arrangement, its temporary role was extended by another five years in September 2021.