Brighton soldier unlawfully killed after 'inadequate' training, coroner rules

Posted On 09 Mar 2010 at 6:52 pm

A coroner has slammed the training given to a Brighton soldier who died in action in Afghanistan.

Special forces reservist Corporal Sean Robert Reeve died when a Land Rover he and his reservist colleagues Lance Corporal Richard Larkin, 39, and Private Paul Stout, 31, along with Corporal Sarah Bryant, 26, were travelling in was hit by a roadside bomb in June 2008.

This afternoon, at the conclusion of a six-day inquest, Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner David Masters recorded an unlawful killing verdict.

As well as training shortcomings, he highlighted equipment shortages and said he would be raising his concerns with the Ministry of Defence.

Corporal Bryant was the first female soldier to die in the Afghan conflict.

Mr Masters said: “In my judgment there was an inadequacy in training for this unit and its members.”

Adam Wilson, solicitor for the familyof Cpl Reeve, said: “We are at least comforted by the fact there has been careful and open consideration of the circumstances in which they died so that lessons may be learned for the future.

“We have heard over the course of the inquest how a lack of metal detectors and inappropriate vehicles contributed to their death.

“We hope that the lack of resources and shortcomings in training and planning which have been exposed in the evidence we have heard will not be repeated.

“We hope that the MoD will heed the recommendations of the Coroner and that by reason of the changes they make no other families will have to stand in the position in which we stand today.”

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