New inquest into Iraq soldier's heatstroke death

A new inquest into the death of a Territorial Army soldier who died of heatstroke in Iraq more than 10 years ago begins today.

Private Jason Smith, 32, had repeatedly told medical staff he was feeling unwell due to high temperatures, sometimes over 50C (122F), after being deployed in June 2003. He reported sick in August the same year.

On August 13 he was found lying face down and was taken to hospital, but he had suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead.

An inquest was originally held in 2006, at which assistant deputy coroner for Oxfordshire Andrew Walker recorded that Pte Smith's death was caused "by a serious failure to recognise and take appropriate steps to address the difficulty that he had in adjusting to the climate".

The new hearing was ordered by the Supreme Court in 2010 after Pte Smith's mother Catherine applied for a second inquest to take place.