Marines face charges over party death

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The Independent Online
A ROYAL Marines officer and a sergeant are to face a court martial after a teenage recruit died following a drinking binge.

Lt Peter Ainsworth and Sgt Rick Wallace face a single charge of conduct prejudicial to good order and army discipline, a Royal Marines spokesman said. The charge follows the death from alcohol poisoning of 17-year-old Ian Mallard, after a party last summer to celebrate winning the coveted Green Beret.

An inquest in Exmouth, Devon, last October was told that Marine Mallard was among 40 trainers and recruits who spent nearly pounds 1,000 on alcohol in five hours in the Maltsters Arms at Woodbury, Devon. The pub is near the Commando Training Centre base at Lympstone.

The inquest was told that the teenager, who came from Chester, drank eight pints of lager and six quadruple tumblers of whisky and vodka - even though legally he was too young to drink in pubs. After choking on his own vomit, he collapsed and died in hospital from acute alcohol poisoning. He was five times over the legal limit for driving. A verdict of accidental death was recorded.