England

Soldier firing range death: Payout for Dean Griffiths' widow

Fusilier Dean Griffiths Image copyright MoD
Image caption Fusilier Dean Griffiths was killed about a month before his son Harry was born

The widow of a soldier who was killed during a training exercise on a firing range in Kent have received a six-figure payout over his death.

Fusilier Dean Griffiths, 21, of First Battalion the Royal Welsh, died at Lydd Range, in September 2011.

Nicola Griffiths, 33, of Crewe, Cheshire, was pregnant with their son Harry when Fusilier Griffiths was shot.

The High Court heard the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had admitted liability and a settlement had been agreed.

An inquest at Folkestone Coroner's Court in 2013 was told Fusilier Griffiths was taking part in a live firing exercise when one of his assault team colleagues entered a compound and fired two shots at a wrongly placed target.

One of the shots went through the target and a wooden wall and hit Fusilier Griffiths, from Market Drayton, Shropshire, who was on the other side.

He had been serving with the battalion as it prepared to go to Afghanistan.

'Terrible tragedy'

Ms Griffiths gave birth to their son in October 2011.

On Wednesday, Judge Richard Parkes QC told Ms Griffiths: "I am so sorry for your sad loss. It is a truly terrible tragedy.

"I hope having Harry is somewhat of a comfort to you and a reminder of his father. Best wishes from me for the future."

The exact amount Ms Griffiths and her four-year-old son will receive has not being disclosed.

In a statement after the hearing, she said: "I am grateful to the court for approving the settlement with the Ministry of Defence.

"This process has been very difficult for me and Harry and we look forward to moving on with our lives."

Robert Kellar said the MoD "would like to convey its best wishes to them for the future".

The Lydd firing range, on Romney Marsh, has been used for military training for more than 150 years.

Another soldier, guardsman Iain Wright, who served with the First Battalion Grenadier Guards, died from a single bullet wound to the head during an exercise there in 2006.

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