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SAS selection tests 'to be changed' after soldier deaths

Selection tests taken by recruits hoping to join the SAS are to be changed to protect them from dangers such as extreme temperatures.

Edward Maher from Winchester was one of three Army reservists who collapsed and died during a 16 mile SAS march in the Brecon Beacons.

The Army said it was "truly sorry" after being criticised by the coroner for the catalogue of blunders which led to the three deaths.

The changes to the tests are understood to include a weather test which could lead to the selection week being postponed if the weather is too hot, cold or humid.

Emily Gadd reports....

Man found guilty of the manslaughter of soldier

John Gilliver was found guilty of manslaughter Credit: Wiltshire Police

A man's been found guilty of the manslaughter of a fellow soldier in Wiltshire.

John Gilliver attacked Gunner Steven Castaglioni after spending the afternoon together in June 2009.

John Gilliver of Bingham Road, Larkhill, will be sentenced at a date to be confirmed.

Detective Sergeant, Deborah Ellender who led the investigation said:

"John Gilliver and Steven Castaglioni were friends and colleagues and had spent the afternoon drinking together at Gilliver’s home. There was a disagreement between the men and Gilliver’s aggressive response, coupled with the effects of alcohol resulted in Steven’s death."


Man found guilty of the manslaughter of a fellow soldier

Steven Castaglioni died after being attacked Credit: Wiltshire Police

A man has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a soldier in Wiltshire.

Gunner Steven Castaglioni was attacked by fellow soldier John Gilliver in June 2009 following an altercation seen by witnesses.

The cause of death was given as the combined effects of concussive head injury and intoxication.

John Gilliver of Bingham Road, Larkhill, was found guilty at Winchester Crown Court.

He will be sentenced on a date to be confirmed.

Inquest for 'friendly fire' soldier

Sapper Mark Antony Smith, serving with the Counter-IED Task Force, who was killed in Afghanistan three years ago. Credit: MOD

An inquest will be held today into the death of a British soldier who was killed in a suspected friendly fire incident in southern Afghanistan three years ago.

Sapper Mark Antony Smith, 26, from Swanley, Kent, is thought to have died in an explosion after a shell landed short of its intended target on July 26 2010.

The serviceman, from 36 Engineer Regiment, was serving with the Counter Improvised Explosive Device taskforce when he was caught in the blast in the Sangin area of Helmand.

Known to his friends as "Smit" and to his Army colleagues as "Smudge", Sapper Smith was hailed as a soldier who made an "immediate and lasting impression".

He joined the regiment in December 2003 and was described by his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Hulme, as a "real character" who "lived life to the full".

Speaking following the tragedy, Lt Col Hulme said: "He had an unrivalled wit and sense of humour; few within the chain of command escaped his proportionally-measured acerbic wit."

Lieutenant Colonel David Southall, commanding officer of the Counter Improvised Explosive Device taskforce, said Sapper Smith hunted out IEDs in the "most deadly areas" on a daily basis after volunteering for his second tour of Afghanistan.

The inquest, which is expected to last five days, will take place at the Old Town Hall, High Street, Gravesend.