Colour Serjeant Kevin Fortuna died in Afghan farm bomb

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Media captionColour Sjt Kevin Fortuna, from Colchester, died in May 2011

A soldier from Essex was killed by a Taliban bomb hidden on a farm track in Afghanistan, an inquest has heard.

Colour Serjeant Kevin Fortuna, 36, of Colchester, died in a blast in Helmand Province in May 2011, while leading a patrol with 1st Battalion The Rifles.

He had joined the Army at 16 after leaving school in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded a verdict of unlawful killing while on active service.

Colour Sjt Fortuna had also served in Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland and Iraq.

At the time of his death, the Ministry of Defence described Colour Sjt Fortuna as a "phenomenal, irreplaceable individual," who "cared for those he commanded passionately".

A joint statement from his wife, Nia, mother Sue and brother Kris in May 2011 said: "Kevin was a true professional who loved his job and lived life to the full."

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