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Army tributes to 'incredibly brave' soldier after Sunderland inquest

Lance Corporal Christopher Roney's commanding officers have paid tribute to him, after the inquest into his death in Afghanistan.

The Coroner ruled that 'mistaken beliefs and cumulative failures' led to an American helicopter attacking a British base in December 2009.

Captain Palmer Winstanley, who was alongside L/Cpl Roney on the night of the attack, described him as an 'incredibly brave' soldier, who set an example for the rest of the platoon.

Major Tim Harris (3rd Battalion The Rifles) praised L/Cpl Roney for his 'true courage'.

Inquest blames 'cumulative failures' for death of Sunderland soldier

A coroner has recorded a verdict of "mistaken beliefs and cumulative failures" on the death of Sunderland soldier Lance Corporal Christopher Roney.

He died from head injuries after an American helicopter mistakenly attacked a British base in Afghanistan in December 2009.

Julia Barthram reports from Coroner's Court in Sunderland.


Family claim death was down to 'negligence'

The family of a soldier, killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan, say his death was called by 'negligence, plain and simple'. Lance Corporal Roney's brother William told the coroner that the term 'fog of war' had been used by the military instead of 'what should have been said'.

"This has upset the family considerably and gives the impression Chris and his injured comrades meant very little to the Ministry of Defence.

"It is the family's opinion that history teaches us individuals are responsible for their own actions and in other jobs people are help accountable.

"We believe the Ministry of Defence, army and its employees should have no exemption to this rule."

– William Roney

"All deaths on operations are extremely tragic and much regretted, nothing is more damaging to morale than a death from friendly fire. We have heard mistakes were made, many due to human error, and many have said in hindsight they would have done things differently but everybody acted in the best interest to assist the patrol base.

– Lieutenant Colonel Steve Corbridge
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