Lincolnshire

Royal Marine shot himself while on sentry duty in Dubai

James Holloway Image copyright MOD
Image caption James Holloway shot himself while on sentry duty after his relationship with his girlfriend broke down

A Royal Marine shot himself while on sentry duty after his relationship with his girlfriend broke down, an inquest has heard.

James Holloway, 25, was found dead by a fellow marine on the bridge of a Royal Navy ship which was moored in Dubai for maintenance work.

The inquest in Lincoln heard he was serving on his first overseas deployment and appeared "withdrawn" and "not his normal self".

A narrative conclusion was recorded.

Post-mortem examinations showed the marine died from a single gunshot wound to the head from his Heckler and Koch assault rifle while on the Royal Fleet Auxillary vessel, Fort Rosalie, on 30 October 2017.

The assistant coroner for Lincolnshire, Richard Marshall, concluded: "Royal Marine Holloway took his own life following the breakdown of his relationship with his girlfriend."

His mother, Amanda Gray, told the inquest the Royal Navy had "failed in their duty of care" to her son by allowing him access to live ammunition.

"If there is an emotional relationship breakdown or a death they need to be taken out of service," she said.

She called for more to be done to raise awareness of mental health issues in the armed forces.

"There is still a culture of servicemen not showing weakness for fear it might end their careers, and this needs to change," she said.

"The most important thing for me is that my son did not die in vain."

The coroner said he had considered if any concerns needed to be raised with the Royal Marines, but he did not think it was appropriate in this case.


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