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Wife of shot submariner Ian Molyneux accepts Elizabeth Cross

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Media captionGillian Molyneux says Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux would have wanted to "protect" his fellow submariners when he was shot.

The widow of a naval officer who was shot dead by a junior rating on board a nuclear submarine has been awarded a medal to mark her loss.

Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux was killed by Able Seaman Ryan Donovan while HMS Astute was docked in Southampton in 2011.

Gillian Molyneux was given the Elizabeth Cross, which is awarded to servicemen's next-of-kin and women killed on duty, at a ceremony in Wigan.

She said it was a "recognition" of what she and her four children had lost.

Mrs Molyneux, who lives in Standish, said the medal was one "no next-of-kin ever wishes to receive" but it recognised her family lost "through Ian's dedication to the Royal Navy, Queen and country".

"I lost my soul mate when Ian died and our children lost a wonderful daddy," she said.

"I will always take great pride in my husband, his heroic actions on the day of his death and the submarine service and all it stands for."

She added she was accepting the medal "with deep sorrow and immense pride".

'Incalculably brave'

Mrs Molyneux, who wore the posthumous George Medal awarded to her husband during the ceremony, was presented with the medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester at Wigan Town Hall.

Image caption Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux was posthumously awarded the George Medal for his actions on board HMS Astute

During the ceremony, Regional Naval Cdr Commodore Dickie Baum said Lt Cdr Molyneux had been one of the Navy's brightest prospects and a role model to future submariners.

"At all times he set an example, displaying his high moral standards and leadership," he said.

"It was typical that when a crisis arose in HMS Astute involving an armed sailor who had begun shooting indiscriminately for reasons that have never been fully explained, Ian was the first to react to the noise and commotion.

"Ian acted with complete disregard for his own safety and made the ultimate sacrifice - his actions were incalculably brave."

Ryan Donovan admitted murdering Lt Cdr Molyneux and was jailed for life at Winchester Crown Court in September 2011.

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