Open verdict returned at British soldier inquest

The inquest into the death of a British soldier who died in a shooting incident while serving at an air base in Iraq recorded an open verdict.

Lance Corporal David Wilson was found slumped at a desk in the Joint Helicopter Force stores at Basra air base in December 2008 with a gunshot to his head.

He had recently become a father to baby Poppy, was an upbeat character with everything to live for, the inquest heard.

Andrew Tweddle, coroner for South Durham and Darlington, returned an open verdict. He would have to be sure the soldier intended to kill himself to return a suicide verdict he said.

Even on the balance of probabilities, I would struggle to meet that test. The evidence does not fully disclose the circumstances in which David came by his death.

Mr Tweddle found the soldier fired the fatal shot himself, and that the gun did not go off because of a malfunction.