York & North Yorkshire

'No apparent motive' for Catterick Garrison soldier's suicide

Garrison sign Image copyright Google
Image caption The 18-year-old was found dead in his bedroom at Bourlon Barracks

The mother of a soldier who killed himself has said she "cannot come to any logical conclusion" as to why he would take his own life.

Highlander Alistair McLeish, 18, from Selkirk, was a member of the 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

He was found hanged at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire on 3 July.

The inquest was told he seemed a "happy, normal guy" and was held up as an example to his colleagues.

In a statement read out, his mother Karen McLeish said her son had long held aspirations to join the Army and follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, both of whom had served.

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She said he "appeared to love" his role in Catterick, having arrived there at the end of 2017.

'Big character'

Highlander Dylan Rollo said in a statement that he had been socialising with Highlander McLeish on the afternoon of 1 July, during which time his friend drank two bottles of Buckfast.

When his body was discovered in his room at Bourlon Barracks, a third bottle was found by his bedside and he was nearly three times the drink-drive limit.

The inquest at Harrogate Justice Centre was told he had been given 2 July off as he had recently returned from a 10-day trip in Germany,

His movements between leaving his friend on 1 July and being found dead were unknown, with colleagues wrongly assuming he had gone home to the Scottish Borders.

Maj Frederick Macnair described Highlander McLeish as a "big character" and said he had singled him out to colleagues because of his exemplary behaviour.

Making a ruling of suicide, coroner Rob Turnbull, said: "Whether he had been ruminating on things is not know, but there is no apparent motive for this tragic incident."

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