Fusilier killed by friendly fire, coroner rules
One of the youngest British soldiers to die during the Iraq invasion was killed by "friendly fire", and not enemy action as the Ministry of Defence originally declared, a coroner ruled yesterday.
Fusilier Kelan Turrington, who was 18 when he died in Iraq, was described by the Army as a victim of an Iraqi ambush during an assault on a trench in April 2003.
But Andrew Walker, deputy coroner for Oxfordshire, concluded that the soldier with the 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, at the time the youngest British casualty of the war, was killed by fire from a machinegun mounted on a British tank.
Mr Walker ruled: "Fusilier Kelan Turrington was on active service in Iraq when, under orders, he entered a sector controlled by a separate British military unit.
"Soldiers of the support British unit were not told Fusilier Turrington, together with three other British soldiers, had moved to that sector. Fusilier Turrington was shot and killed by machinegun fire from a tank in that sector."
Fusilier Turrington's mother Ann,45, said at her home in Haslingford, Cambridgeshire: "We are obviously upset about this but are trying to find out why there have been two different conclusions."
Andrew Lansley, MP for South Cambridgeshire, added that the MoD should clarify the circumstances surrounding Fusilier Turrington's death. "They have to make public statements about public inquiries", he said. " They must surely now have a need to establish how Kelan Turrington died."
The report of an inquiry conducted by the Royal Military Police into the death was not made public, but the MoD said it was passed it on to the Army Prosecuting Authority.
A lance corporal serving with the Queen's Royal Lancers alongside the 7th Armoured Brigade was questioned under caution over Fusilier Turrington's death, but the decision was taken not to press charges.
The funeral of the soldier, who was praised for his bravery and given a Mention in Dispatches, was attended by 500 mourners including 100 past and current members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Fusilier Turrington's parents set up a fund in his memory and the money raised were used to buy medical equipment for a clinic in Basra and supplies for a school.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said last night "The case is still with the Army's prosecution authority, they are still considering whether Fusilier Turrington's death should be considered further.
"If they decide to investigate further they will refer it to the Attorney General's office. Fusilier Turrington's family have been kept fully informed."
Mr Lansley said the inquest's findings did not detract one "iota" from the soldier's bravery.
Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
Strewth mate. Aussies wave goodbye to Britain as it becomes too pricey to stay
World news in pictures
X marks the spot: The find that could rewrite Australian history
Oklahoma tornado latest: At least 91 dead, including 20 children, as massive storm rips through Oklahoma City suburbs, flattening homes, shops, hospitals and schools
- 1 'He was lucky he didn't die' - George Michael fell out of speeding car onto M1 motorway, according to eye witness
- 2 Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
- 3 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 4 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 5 Why Arsène Wenger must spend to put icing on the cake and buy likes of Stevan Jovetic for Arsenal
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Randstad Education Leicester: Please request a copy...
Negotiable: Orgtel: Change Manager, Hampshire, Telecomms, SC Cleared, £200 per...
£120 - £160 per day + negotiable depending on experience: Randstad Education L...
£180 - £230 per day: Orgtel: Operations Analyst - Leading Bank in the City of ...