Corrie Mckeague: Missing RAF airman inquest 'will not review police search'

image copyrightSuffolk Constabulary
image captionCorrie Mckeague went missing after being asked to leave a nightclub in September 2016

An inquest into the death of a missing RAF airman will not become an examination of the police investigation into his disappearance, a coroner said.

Corrie Mckeague, who was 23, is believed to have died after climbing into an industrial waste bin after a night out in Bury St Edmunds in 2016.

His body has never been found.

Suffolk's coroner said an independent review of the police case had taken place and it would be "inappropriate" for an inquest to further review that.

Mr McKeague, from Dunfermline in Fife, was a gunner based at RAF Honington in Suffolk at the time of his disappearance.

A previous inquest hearing - opened and adjourned in November - heard from a police officer who said Mr Mckeague was "very drunk" when he was asked to leave the Flex nightclub in Bury St Edmunds on 24 September 2016.

His last confirmed sighting was at 03:25 BST, when CCTV cameras recorded him walking into an area behind Greggs and Superdrug, where industrial waste bins were stored.

image copyrightSuffolk Constabulary
image captionMr Mckeague was last seen on CCTV after leaving a nightclub

Later that morning, a Biffa refuse lorry emptied the bins.

Police believe this is when Mr Mckeague died, but despite extensive searches, his body has never been found.

At a pre-inquest hearing, Nigel Parsley, senior coroner for Suffolk, said "reasons why alternative theories were ruled out by police" will form part of the scope of the inquest, which will be held before a jury.

"I'm very minded this will not become an inquiry into the police investigation," he said.

"There has already been an independent review of the police investigation.

"The inquest is an inappropriate place for a further review."

image copyrightPA
image captionA landfill site at Milton near Cambridge was extensively searched as part of the investigation

The review of the police search for Mr Mckeague, carried out in 2017 by police from the East Midlands, concluded officers carried out "exemplary" work despite having "limited resources".

Mr Parsley set a provisional date of 20 September for the full inquest, which was expected to last for four weeks.

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