The popular British melodic rock band, Blood Red Saints have today released a single entitled “Justice for The Night”. It was written and recorded by them to support Major John Winskill, an injured ex-serviceman, husband and father of four, the band having read of his plight last month.
Vocalist Pete Godfrey, lead guitarist Lee Revill, guitarist Neil Hibbs and drummer Andy Chemney were so moved by the situation faced by Major Winskill (48) from Amesbury near Salisbury, that they set about doing what they know best, to help raise the profile of John’s case in his time of need.
John needs help to stop a misdirected criminal prosecution in Peru, after he was the victim of a road traffic accident when volunteering to support a team in the Dakar Rally.
In 2012, John volunteered to help a team of injured ex-servicemen realise their dreams by competing in the world’s toughest endurance driving event, through a charity called Race2Recovery. John was a logistics support team member and driver. Unfortunately, on the night of 9 January 2013, the Land Rover he was driving in convoy behind the race car was hit from behind, shunting his vehicle into the path of an oncoming taxi on the other side of the road. John’s Land Rover flipped and rolled after the collision, and he and his two passengers had to be cut out of the wreckage and eventually medevac’d home. Sadly the taxi driver and one of his five passengers were killed.
John thought the accident had been fully investigated in 2013. However unbeknown to him, for the past five years the Peruvian authorities have been looking to try to prosecute John for the collision, yet he was a victim, not the perpetrator. Out of the blue, in February this year his wife, Lisa, received a knock on their door to see police officers serving papers requiring John to attend court in Peru to stand trial, with a potential minimum sentence of six years’ imprisonment. This triggered a serious bout of John’s PTSD.
Since February, John and Lisa have used all their family’s savings, taken loans and borrowed from friends to try to get the prosecution stopped by demonstrating how, and why, the collision was not down to John. But the Peruvians are refusing to allow him to present his defence to get the trial stopped. He has now run out of money to continue to pay his British and Peruvian lawyers – yet the case still hangs over him. Sadly, the Race2Recovery charity failed to provide any legal insurance for its volunteers and have left him high and dry.
Despite doing a generous deed for other injured ex-servicemen, that one night in Peru has caused untold anxiety and financial ruin for John. He and the Blood Red Saints hope that the release of this single, Justice for The Night, freely available at John’s GoFundMe site will encourage the generosity of the great British public to support someone who was helping others when his life was turned upside down.
John Winskill says: “Saints not just in name, these guys have really stepped up when I was at my lowest ebb. They are truly good people and I’m more grateful than words can say. And it’s a catchy little rock number too! I hope people download it and hug their nearest and dearest just a little closer as they listen, while recognising that sometimes in life, events can be cruel and bloody hard to get over. But thank you to the Blood Red Saints for bringing a little light into my darkness.”
Neil Hibbs of Blood Red Saints said:
“I live in the same village as John and read about his dreadful situation in the paper. I couldn’t rest until the Band had done something to help. I hope the track raises awareness as I’m sure we can all do our bit to help a decent man out of his troubles.”
The band has generously assigned all IP rights to the song and lyrics to John Winskill.