Phone hacking: Pte Richard Hunt's family contact police

Richard Hunt
Image caption Pte Hunt was the 200th British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan

The family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan have contacted police to find out whether their phones were hacked by the News of the World.

Pte Richard Hunt, 21, from Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, was fatally injured in an explosion in August 2009.

His mother Hazel Hunt said the Metropolitan Police could not yet tell her if their phones had been hacked.

Officers told her they are now focused on 2005-07 but will include the period when her son died at a later date.

"I've been in touch with the Met via SSAFA (the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) and they gave us the numbers of the detectives dealing with it so we could get in contact," said Mrs Hunt.

"They've taken all our land line and mobile numbers."

She said she had been given no indication about how long the investigation would take.

"They've said if anything shows itself they will contact us immediately," she added.

Mrs Hunt said she was disgusted by claims the News of the World may have hacked the phones of families of UK soldiers.

"I will be very, very angry if it has happened but won't be surprised," she said.

"It's almost a betrayal of the boys themselves."

News International closed the News of the World last week amid allegations that the mobile phones of murder victim Milly Dowler and relatives of dead soldiers had been accessed.

Mrs Hunt said the hacking claims and the uncertainty of whether the family had been targeted were very upsetting.

'Prison sentence'

"When you sit there and think about it, it takes you straight back to when Richard was injured and then died, and drags up those feelings again," she said.

"The one thing that would give us piece of mind is that anyone who perpetrated it feels the full force of the justice available.

"That maybe a prison sentence or, if they lose their job, then so be it."

Pte Hunt, of 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh, was the 200th British soldier to be killed while serving in Afghanistan.

He was caught in an explosion while on patrol in Helmand Province and was airlifted back to the UK but died in hospital.

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