Exeter TA soldier 'unlawfully killed' in Afghanistan

Image caption, Rifleman Marshall joined the police force in 2006 and served in Exeter

A Territorial Army rifleman from Devon who died on duty in Afghanistan was unlawfully killed, an inquest has ruled.

Mark Marshall, a 29-year-old police community support officer (PCSO) from Exeter, was killed on 14 February 2010 in Helmand province.

He had been on foot patrol with 6th Battalion The Rifles when an improvised explosive device detonated.

Coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland said she was "humbled" by his sacrifice.

At the time of his death Rifleman Marshall had been acting as a "point man", with the role of clearing improvised bombs.

His acting commanding officer Captain Benedict Shuttleworth told the inquest at Exeter County Hall that he had volunteered for the role, which involved using a metal detector known as a "Vallon".

He said Rifleman Marshall was an "exceptional Vallon man".

Delivering her verdict, the Exeter and Greater Devon Coroner Dr Earland said she was "humbled by the sacrifice that Mark Marshall made in the service of his country".

Rifleman Marshall joined the Devon and Cornwall police force in 2006 and was a PCSO with the Countess Wear Neighbourhood team.

He joined the TA in 2007.

About 600 mourners attended his funeral at an Exeter church last March.

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