THE daughter of a York couple is planning to join a human shield in Iraq in an effort to avert war.

Antoinette McCormick, whose parents, John and Mairi McCormick, live in Huntington Road, intends going on a coach convoy of anti-war activists leaving London for Baghdad next month.

The 38-year-old American citizen said she was with the U.S. Navy in the last Gulf War - serving in a hospital ship in the Gulf - and was determined to do her bit to help prevent another conflict.

Antoinette intends going to Iraq with the fledgling movement TJP (Truth, Justice, Peace). She hopes to be based at a Baghdad hospital, but accepts she could be made to go to another location.

"It makes no difference, should we be deployed by Saddam where he wants us most. The principle remains the same: we should not bomb Iraq."

Antoinette said she knew the strategy was potentially dangerous, but felt that was a risk she had to take to prevent a humanitarian disaster. However, she stressed: "I don't want to be on a suicide mission."

She said her American father and English mother, who came to North Yorkshire to retire 14 years ago, did not wish to comment, but claimed they supported her plans.

She said she needed to raise £1,000 before she could make the trip to Baghdad, to pay for equipment and also ensure she could afford to eat during her stay.

She asked anyone wanting to make a donation to send it to her at 31, Huntington Road.

Updated: 16:22 Friday, January 24, 2003