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Briton killed in Ukraine ‘paid ultimate price defending people he’d never met’, says dad

The father of a British volunteer killed fighting in Ukraine has told Sky News he “paid the ultimate price for defending people he’d never met”.

Samuel Newey, 22, had travelled to the east of the country to fight just before his 21st birthday.

His father, Paul Newey, said his son was “the light of all our lives, he was the whole family’s baby boy with the cheeky character to match”.

The Foreign Office has said it is supporting the family of a British man following his death in Ukraine.


Samuel Newey appeared in court in February 2020 after he and his father were charged with terrorism offences for allegedly illegally assisting his brother Daniel Newey, who was a British volunteer fighting against Islamic State in Syria.

Ukraine war latest: ‘Notable progress’ by Zelenskyy’s forces

Charges were dropped against the pair following a Crown Prosecution Service review in July that same year.

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Paul Newey said all his son wanted to do, from an early age, was to join the British Army.

He told Sky News: “…but that was not meant to be after all the aftermath of our arrests for supporting Daniel… the fallout from that has affected our lives in different ways.”

In a statement, he continued: “When Daniel decided to go to Ukraine to help the war effort, Samuel decided to follow by being a medic which he did with great bravery, helping anyone he could.

“But after seeing things that nobody should ever see Samuel wanted to do even more by helping to defend the innocent people of Ukraine.

“Samuel has paid the ultimate price for defending people he has never met before he went to Ukraine.

“We will never ever fill the void in our lives which has been left by Samuel’s death.”

The family described the “senseless waste of human life on both sides”.

Sam’s father said he takes no comfort in the fact “some Russian family is feeling exactly the same way I feel today after losing their loved one”.

Samuel (r) and his father Paul Newey
Samuel (L) and his father Paul Newey

He added the family is “praying for a quick end to this war so my beautiful son can be one of the last fallen brave”.

A fundraising page has been set up to help raise money for Sam’s funeral.

On the JustGiving website his mother, Vikki Downes, said her son had been studying psychology at university when the war started.

She described him as “an exceptional man, a good soldier” and “one of the bravest people we had known”.

“Without fear he embarked on a journey of battle, courage and tenacity.

“Most people would have crumbled. Not Sam, he undertook mission after mission with the upmost bravery.

“One of the most selfless acts a human can do.

“Fighting in a foreign country, for people he had never met, without question and never faltering.”

Samuel (bottom right) pictured with his mum Vikki Downes (centre) and brother Daniel (top right)
Samuel (bottom right) pictured with his mum Vikki Downes (centre) and brother Daniel (top right)

The 22-year-old from Solihull died in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday morning.

Sam Newey is the latest British man to be killed in Ukraine.

Others include Simon Lingard from Lancashire, and former British soldier Jordan Gatley.


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