SAS selection deaths: Families want CPS to reconsider action

Cpl James Dunsby, L/Cpl Edward Maher and L/Cpl Craig Roberts Image copyright MOD/PA
Image caption Cpl James Dunsby, L/Cpl Edward Maher and L/Cpl Craig Roberts took part in the exercise last year

Two families want a criminal case to be considered after three soldiers died from overheating on a training exercise in the Brecon Beacons last year.

L/Cpl Craig Roberts, 24, of Penrhyn Bay, Conwy, and L/Cpl Edward Maher, 31, died on 13 July 2013. Cpl James Dunsby, from Bath, died later in hospital.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to bring gross negligence manslaughter charges in July.

A pre-inquest hearing was told two families are appealing that decision.

The hearing in Birmingham was told the full inquests cannot be held until appeals by two of the soldiers' families are held under a Victims Right to Review scheme.

Birmingham and Solihull senior coroner Louise Hunt explained that the inquests would be "a slightly wider inquiry looking at procedures and processes that were in place at the time of the deaths".

But she stressed that as an inquest is not a criminal hearing, the CPS review must be dealt with before an inquest is held to avoid prejudicing any possible future criminal trial.

The soldiers had been taking part in a 40-mile (64km) hike as part of a four-week trial for the Territorial Army's SAS reservists.

The exercise took part on one of the hottest days of the year when temperatures reached 29.5C (85F).

The pre-inquest hearing is continuing.

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