THE family of York hero Terry Walker claim they have been cheated after it emerged that Gulf War Syndrome will not be examined at his inquest.

Terry, who served in the Falklands, Northern Ireland and the first Gulf War, died following a failed heart transplant in 2007.

His parents, Ted and Hazel, of Wheldrake, believe he only had a weak heart because of the effects of Gulf War syndrome.

But they have been been told that his inquest, to be held in Newcastle on July 20, will only examine the heart transplant and not the years of ill-health which Terry suffered leading up to it.

Ted said he felt cheated by the system.

He said: “I feel very disappointed that they are not going to look at the Gulf War Syndrome.”

But he said the inquest would offer some resolution. “I think Hazel and I are just keen to get closure on the whole thing.”

Mr Walker said the other difficulty with bringing Gulf War Syndrome up at the inquest was that the British Government, unlike the American and Canadian counterparts, had still not accepted the illness existed.

He said to prove that Terry’s illnesses had had a direct effect on the strength of his heart would have been very difficult.

“In addition, he said it was very unlikely that any coroner would state that Terry’s death was exacerbated by Gulf War Syndrome as this would open the compensation floodgates and would cost the Government millions. The expected verdict is simply that Terry died as a result of complications following a heart transplant.”

But Mr Walker said an inquest which did not examine the effects of Gulf War Syndrome was cheating other soldiers out of justice.

He said: “What we were doing was not just for Terry, but all the veterans who served in the first Gulf War. They have just been pushed aside.

“They got out of the army and there was just no support for them. Nothing was done for Gulf War veterans and still nothing is being done.”

The Press launched a Justice For Terry campaign following his death, after revealing his war pension had been cut by 60 per cent before he died.

His parents believed the stress caused by this had been another factor behind him suffering the heart attack which prompted the transplant.

We successfully campaigned for Terry’s family to receive the full pension to which they were entitled.