No prosecution over Sussex soldier's Afghanistan death

Lance Corporal James Brynin Image copyright MoD
Image caption L/Cpl James Brynin served with the 14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare)

A soldier will not face prosecution over the death of a comrade he shot in Afghanistan, a coroner has said.

L/Cpl James Brynin, 22, who was from West Sussex, was killed in central Helmand Province in 2013.

An inquest last year was adjourned amid concerns it may have been a homicide.

Resuming the inquest in Arundel, senior coroner Penelope Schofield said Lance Corporal of Horse (L/CoH) Mark Kelly, of the Household Cavalry regiment, would not be charged over the death.

She said this was because there was "insufficient evidence of a homicide offence".

L/Cpl Brynin's family were informed in November of the decision, she added.

'Brave face'

The hearing was told L/Cpl Brynin, from Shoreham, was part of a group carrying out intelligence work when he was shot.

Commanding officer Lt Col Edward Hayward said it had had a "profound effect" on L/CoH Kelly, who broke down at a meeting.

"I told him that today was the first day of the rest of his life when he would have to live with the knowledge he had killed one of his fellow soldiers, and then he broke down," he said.

He said the soldier had put on a "brave face" until he accepted what had happened.

Lt Col Hayward said the soldier had undergone and passed mandated training and additional training since the death, and now exhibited "more care and rigour".

He said no concerns were raised about L/CoH Kelly during his training and there had been external validation of his training since the death so "it wasn't just about us marking our own homework".

L/Cpl Brynin's family found out he was killed by friendly fire three months after his death, the inquest heard.

Col Timothy Simpson said the first indication came after the post-mortem examination, which identified the calibre of round - Nato 556 - and indicated the shot may have been fired by a British Army soldier.

He said there was no single document outlining lessons learned and a decision on whether to launch an inquiry had not been made.

The hearing continues.

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