Drunken shooting incident in Iraq claimed life of North-East soldier, inquest told (From The Northern Echo)
For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Drunken shooting incident claimed life of Spennymoor soldier, inquest told
2:13pm Monday 25th February 2013 in News
A soldier died in a drunken shooting incident while he was with three comrades in Iraq, one of them told mourners at his wake, an inquest heard today.
Lance Corporal David Wilson, 27, from Spennymoor, County Durham, had become a father to Poppy just 11 weeks before and had ''everything to live for'' when he died at the Basra airbase in December 2008.
At the time the Ministry of Defence said L/Cpl Wilson, who was serving with the 9 Regiment Army Air Corps, was not attacked by enemy forces and there was ''no evidence to suggest anyone else was involved''.
Brenda Trotter, who attended the funeral, told the inquest in Crook, that she had asked one of the soldiers present at the wake if Iraqis were to blame.
''He turned around and said 'No, there were four of us. We had been drinking. Something happened that should never have happened','' she said.
''I was stunned.''
Her daughter Michelle, a friend and neighbour of L/Cpl Wilson's fiancee, also called Michelle, heard the soldier say: ''We were all drunk. It was something that never should have happened.''
She told the inquest: ''I automatically thought somebody was involved in David's death, whether it was by accident or I just don't know...
''David would not have done it to himself.''
L/Cpl Wilson, who had deployed late to Iraq after the birth of his daughter, had planned to get married the following year and worked in stores serving with the Joint Helicopter Force.
His friend L/Cpl Amanda Walker, who was in Iraq with him at the time, told the inquest: ''He was a bubbly comedian every day.''
She agreed with William Boyce QC, representing the family, when he said that everyone liked him, he was besotted with his fiancee and daughter and that his job was going well.
Major Alistair Stocker told the inquest the airbase at Basra was ''like a small city'' and very busy.
Alcohol was only allowed at rare, formal functions and, even then, soldiers were limited to drinking two cans of beer, he said.
The inquest, attended by the soldier's fiancee, his father Ian and identical twin Michael among others, continues.