THE inquest into the death of a North-East soldier who died in a drunken shooting incident while serving in Iraq has recorded an open verdict.

Lance Corporal David Wilson, of Spennymoor, County Durham, was found slumped at a desk in the Joint Helicopter Force stores at Basra airbase in December 2008 with a gunshot to his head.

The 27-year-old had become a father 11 weeks before to baby Poppy, and was an upbeat character with everything to live for, the inquest in Crook, County Durham, has heard.

Loading article content

His family do not believe he deliberately shot himself, and believe horseplay or an accident could have been the cause.

The hearing has been told how military police investigators botched elements of the inquiry, meaning a full picture of what happened that night has been obscured.

He had been drinking vodka - in breach of Army rules - with his friend and superior Warrant Officer Tony Todd in the hours before he died.

Tests after his death showed he was three times over the drink-drive limit.

• More details to follow