Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Inquest Is Told of Alcohol at Iraq Base; Soldier Was Found Shot Dead in Basra

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Inquest Is Told of Alcohol at Iraq Base; Soldier Was Found Shot Dead in Basra

Article excerpt

Byline: Emma King? 0191 201 6048 ? emma.king@ncjmedia.co.uk

ASOLDIER from County Durham died in a shooting incident after drinking with three comrades in Iraq, one of them implied to mourners at his wake, an inquest heard.

Lance Corporal David Wilson, 27, 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, County Durham, yesterday, 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. …

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