Wales

Joshua Hoole inquest: Soldiers 'showed no signs of heat exhaustion'

Joshua Hoole
Image caption Cpl Hoole has previously been described as "fit, capable and determined"

An Afghanistan veteran has told an inquest he saw no signs of soldiers collapsing with suspected heat exhaustion on a fitness march.

Cpl Joshua Hoole, 26, of Ecclefechan, Dumfries and Galloway, died within an hour of collapsing on the march in Brecon, Powys, in July 2016.

Two other soldiers also collapsed with suspected heat illness, while a third had symptoms, the inquest was told.

Sgt Carl McAvoy described one of the soldiers as being "perfectly fine".

The Birmingham inquest has already heard soldiers were aware it was going to be "the hottest day of the year" and the march start time was brought forward.

Sgt McAvoy, previously awarded an MBE, was asked about accounts he had given regarding the symptoms of three soldiers.

Image caption Cpl Hoole joined the Army in 2008 and served in Afghanistan

At the time, he was serving with 3 Rifles and was one of the march's directing staff but was not the qualified combat medical technician, the hearing was told.

He said he saw Cpl Anasa Matau - one of the two soldiers who went down on the course - "sat on the floor" being tended by another staff member, "holding his ankle, talking and, to me, didn't appear unwell".

Cpl Matau previously told the inquest he pulled out after suffering "heat and exhaustion".

When asked about the differences in people's accounts, Cpl McAvoy said: "When I saw him, I believe my description was right."

Sgt McAvoy used water to treat two other soldiers. At the time he told investigators one had complained of feeling "dizzy" so he sat him in the shade.

He told the inquest he "didn't see any signs of heat or anything like exhaustion".

Senior coroner Louise Hunt asked: "Do you accept dizziness is a sign and symptom of suspicion of heat illness?"

Sgt McAvoy replied: "I accept that but I also believe he wasn't actually dizzy - he seemed perfectly fine."

He also came across Cpl George Knight sitting on the roadside and told investigators he had "considered heat exhaustion", the inquest was told.

However, Sgt McAvoy told the inquest: "I think the best explanation is, he looked like he'd gone up a big hill.

"I could not say he had got heat exhaustion, as I'm not qualified to say that."

The inquest continues.

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