Soldier arrested on suspicion of murder after corporal's body discovered on Saturday morning

 

A soldier has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a corporal was found dead at an army barracks in Shropshire.

West Mercia Police said it had arrested a 23-year-old man after the body of Corporal Geoffrey McNeill, 32, of 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, was discovered in a building at the Army’s Clive Barracks.

Detectives said the man taken into custody at Shrewsbury police station was a serving soldier based at the site in Tern Hill, near Market Drayton.

Corporal McNeill's body was found at around 9am on Saturday morning. A post-mortem was carried out over the weekend but further tests have been ordered to try to establish the cause of death, a police spokesman said.

The dead soldier, from Co Antrim in Northern Ireland, is from the same battalion deployed last month to help flood-stricken communities in Worcestershire, after record amounts of rain fell across the UK.

Members of the unit met David Cameron when he toured some of the county's flood defences at Upton-upon-Severn.

Detective Inspector Steve Tonks, of West Mercia Police, said: “We have made an arrest in connection with the death. The investigation is in its early stages and extensive inquiries are continuing.

“A post-mortem conducted by a Home Office pathologist was held yesterday and further examination and tests are being carried out to help establish the cause of death.”

Jason McNeill, brother of the deceased soldier, said: “Geoff was born in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland and dedicated his life to 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment.

“He served his country with the highest degree of honour and dedication. He was a much loved son, brother, uncle and friend and touched the lives of all who had the pleasure of meeting him.”

An MoD spokesman said: “It is with deep regret that we can confirm Corporal Geoffrey McNeill, a serving soldier from 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, has died. Our thoughts are with the family and friends affected at this difficult time. We are assisting West Mercia Police with their investigation and it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this time.”

Clive Barracks opened in 1916 and has been home to 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment since 2007. The unit, which has seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, returned to its Shropshire barracks after assisting with the flooding civil emergency.

The barracks’ accommodation block was the scene of an attempted IRA bomb attack in 1989.

And in 1998, prior to the arrival of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, Clive Barracks was at the centre of a “bullying” court martial. Army recruits became a “human xylophone” when their corporal forced them to sing musical notes as he hit them on the buttocks with a baseball bat, the court martial heard.

A year later an army corporal collapsed and died on his way back to the Barracks after taking a cocktail of alcohol and drugs. An inquest found that Corporal Lee Pinner had taken an overdose of painkillers and sleeping tablets and drunk 10 pints of lager and three vodkas.

In 1997, the 1st Battalion of the Staffordshire Regiment, also based at Clive Barracks, was subject to an inquiry by the special investigation branch of the Royal Military Police into alleged managerial “irregularities” and disciplinary issues.

News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
News
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea was left red faced but, thankfully, unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards, sending her tumbling off the stage.
peopleIggy Azalea was left red faced but apparently unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards
News
newsComedian Lee Hurst started trend with first tweet using the hashtag
News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Extras
indybest

Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition