UK & World News
Soldier Shot At Army Range Unlawfully Killed
A British soldier shot in the head at an army firing range in Wales was unlawfully killed, an inquest jury has found.
Ranger Michael Maguire died after he was hit by a single machine gun bullet at the Castlemartin Ranges on the Pembrokeshire coast.
An inquest in Cardiff heard the 21-year-old was relaxing at a secure location 1km (0.6 miles) inland from a training exercise when he was hit.
Live fire, which should have been safely aimed out to sea, was also directed towards a beach popular with surfers.
Following the inquest, an MoD spokesman said: "We will look very closely at the coroner's comments to ensure that we make all the necessary changes to prevent an accident of this nature happening again.
"Our thoughts are with Ranger Maguire's family and friends at this very difficult time."
Lieutenant Jonathan Price was in charge of live fire exercises on the day Ranger Maguire was shot, the inquest heard.
It was told how course tutors had recommended Lt Price receive extra training due to perceived weaknesses in his understanding of the course, nine months before the soldier's death.
Jurors were told Lt Price went on to make a series of mistakes in the planning and carrying out of the exercises.
Jimmy Maguire, the soldier's older brother, said that despite the outcome, the family still had unanswered questions.
"We are surprised and puzzled that somebody could have been considered competent to conduct an exercise of this nature, when at the same time he made so many fundamental errors," he said.
Ranger Maguire, a member of 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, was standing without a protective helmet and body armour when he was shot last May.
He was flown to hospital in Cardiff but pronounced dead within 30 minutes of his arrival.
At the time, his company commander Major Richard Bell described him as an "extremely popular" soldier who had a "cheerful outlook on life, natural charisma and irrepressible good humour".
The Health and Safety Executive is continuing to investigate how he died.
Set within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the Castlemartin Ranges were first used by the Army in 1939.
On non-firing days, members of the public can walk through part of the range along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.