Wales

Joshua Hoole: Inquest set over soldier's Brecon death

Joshua Hoole Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Cpl Hoole joined the Army in April 2008

An inquest is to be held into the death of a soldier who collapsed during an Army fitness test on a hot day.

Afghan veteran Corporal Joshua Hoole, 26, of Ecclefechan, Dumfries and Galloway, died during a routine assessment in Brecon in July 2016.

His father Phillip Hoole had applied for an adjourned inquest to be resumed.

Cpl Hoole's death came three years after three Army reservists suffered fatal heat illness during an SAS selection march in the Brecon Beacons.

Cpl Hoole, serving with The Rifles regiment at ITC Catterick, collapsed and died at the end of an eight-mile (13km) course.

He had been carrying 25kg (55lb) of equipment on what was the hottest day of the year, when temperatures in the area reached 30C.

A 2017 Defence Safety Authority report concluded Cpl Hoole died from an undiagnosed medical condition "within the definition of Sudden Arrhythmogenic Death Syndrome".

But that conclusion was rejected by Mr Hoole's father who claims there were "organisational failings".

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Cpl Hoole served in Iraq and Afghanistan

Senior coroner Louise Hunt adjourned proceedings earlier this year pending an update by the Royal Military Police on its investigation.

But she has ruled the full inquest, which will also look at broader circumstances surrounding the death, can now be heard at Birmingham on 1 October.

The decision came after hearing there are, at present, no charges laid against any individuals involved in staffing the fitness test.

Ms Hunt was also told by the Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA), an independent organisation within the Ministry of Defence (MoD), that it was unlikely the inquest would interfere with potential future prosecutions.

Cpl Hoole's father, from Carlisle and a former Army company sergeant-major, has welcomed the decision.

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