Parents told to sue over Marine's drink death

The parents of a 17-year-old Royal Marine who died after a drinking binge to celebrate gaining the coveted green beret are being advised to start High Court proceedings against the Ministry of Defence.

Ian Mallard died from alcohol poisoning and inhaling his own vomit after a pub party in June to mark the completion of the 30- week green beret course at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon.

After an inquest in October recorded a verdict of accidental death, his parents Malcolm and Susan Mallard, from Chester, made a claim for compensation against the MoD for not looking after their son properly.

Their solicitor Peter Anderson, who wrote to the ministry to see if it would deal with the claim outside court, said he was now advising the couple to issue a writ.

'I have not had the response I wanted from the ministry and I am advising my clients to issue High Court proceedings,' he said.

The inquest was told that Ian Mallard died in hospital after drinking up to five bottles of lager and six quadruple or triple cocktails of whisky and vodka. His blood-alcohol level was nearly five times the drink-drive limit.

The Army's legal service will decide in the next few weeks whether the two senior officers at the party will face a court martial.