Soldier inquest

The inquest into the death of Lance Corporal Jonathan McKinlay begins today. The soldier was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.

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Coroner hears a North East soldier was shot dead by insurgents while helping Afghan police officers to pray.

Lance Corporal Jonathan McKinlay from Darlington was shot through the neck while on patrol with the 1st Battalion The Rifles in Helmand in September last year.

At an inquest in Chester-le-Street, his family heard his injuries were "non-survivable", despite the efforts of comrades.

He was one of 12 British servicemen who were accompanied by Afghan police and an interpreter when they came under fire.

Navy Medic Stuart Freeman, who was attached to The Rifles at the time, said L/Cpl McKinlay was in a field with the police, who had decided to pray.

When he reached him, there were no signs of life.

Pathologist Dr Russell Delaney found the father of three died from a "non-survivable" gunshot to the neck, which would have left him almost instantly unconscious.

Coroner Andrew Tweddle concluded the Darlington soldier was shot by insurgents.

Soldier shot by insurgents

The inquest into the death of a soldier from Darlington has found he was 'shot by insurgents'.

Lance Corporal Jonathan McKinlay, 33, was killed while on military service in Afghanistan in September 2011.

Coroner Andrew Tweddle gave the formal verdict at the inquest Chester-le-Street Magistrates Court this afternoon.


Inquest into North East soldier killed in Afghanistan

An inquest is being held into the death of a North East soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Jonathan McKinlay, 33, from Darlington was on patrol in Helmand Province last September when his team came under small arms fire. He died from a gunshot wound. The father of three served with 1st Battalion the Rifles, based in Gloucestershire.

At his funeral, Lance Corporal McKinlay's wife, Lisa, described her husband as "her one in a million."

Senior officers said they had "lost a fantastic battalion character and a highlight accomplished soldier".

The inquest into his death is taking place in Chester le Street.