Soldier killed on training exercise due to officers total disregard for safety

“When the error was pointed out to him, he said ‘I’ve messed up, haven’t I? What will happen to me?'”The soldiers were firing in an inherently dangerous way. That situation was in contention with the clear rules and training Cpt Price had received months before.”Lieutenant Colonel Richard Bell, 45, of the Infantry Training Battalion and Warrant Officer Stuart Pankhurst, 40, of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, are also accused of acting negligently in assisting Cpt Price and failing to review the exercise.Mr Lickley said all three defendants “played a part in the catastrophe.”.Cpt Price denies manslaughter by gross negligence while Lt Col Bell and WO2 Pankhurst deny negligently performing a duty.The trial continues. A young soldier was killed on a training exercise after an Army officer showed “a total disregard” for safety, a court martial has heard.Ranger Michael Maguire, 21, of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, was shot in the forehead while relaxing with fellow soldiers at the Castlemartin Ranges, Pembrokeshire.The fatal bullet was fired more than half a mile away by other members of their company on a neighbouring range who would have been visible during the live ammunition drill.Captain Jonathan Price, 32, now of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish, is accused of manslaughter by gross negligence after setting up the “catastrophic” exercise in which troops were firing in an “inherently dangerous” way.Nigel Lickley QC, prosecuting, told the trial at Bulford Military Court, Wilts, that Cpt Price was responsible for “significant” and “extensive” failings after setting up targets outside safe zones of fire.”Not only did he fail his men, but his failings contributed towards Rgr Maguire’s death,” he said.“His death was foreseeable and Cpt Price’s negligence was so bad we judge this to be criminal.”Common sense if this situation says you do not point guns at people, you do not design, permit or allow an activity that allows machine guns to fire directly in line with your men.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Rgr Maguire, from Cork, Ireland, had joined the battalion two years earlier, in 2010, and had already served in Afghanistan.Seconds before he was shot, he told a fellow soldier “these rounds are getting dangerously close”.Cpt Price is accused of failing to attend a recce of the range when planning the exercises and of placing targets too close together.Mr Lickley told the panel: “Crucially, he allowed firing to take place beyond the permitted arcs of fire.”Such was the total disregard for the safety of his men that a public beach 3km away and anyone on it was put at risk of being hit, given the range of the weapons being used.”It’s fortunate there were not more casualties.”The panel of seven senior officers hearing the case were told that the exercise, in May 2012, was designed to prepare the troops for deployment to Kenya later that year.Mr Lickley QC said Cpt Price wrongly placed targets in the range on mounds outside of the arc of fire, meaning Rgr Maguire was in the line of fire and hit by a stray bullet which missed the target.”In short, the exercises that Cpt Price planned resulted in his men firing at others, others that he knew were there, that he put there,” he said. read more