South East Wales

Gavin Williams inquest: Soldier's heatstroke treatment delay

Pte Gavin Williams Image copyright PA
Image caption Pte Gavin Williams was serving with the Second Battalion of the Royal Welsh Regiment when he died

A soldier subjected to a "beasting" on one of the hottest days of 2006 was initially treated for a psychiatric episode, an inquest has heard.

Pte Gavin Williams, 22, was made to do intense exercise as punishment for a series of drunken incidents.

Pte Williams, from Hengoed, Caerphilly county, died in hospital from heart failure as a result of heatstroke.

A former Army doctor said there was a "poor passage of information" which led to the initial treatment.

Dr Justin Hammond told the inquest in Salisbury, Wiltshire, that Dr Mark Darbyshire "made reasonable decisions and took reasonable steps to make a diagnosis based on the information he had".

Pte Williams, of 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, was taken to the medical centre at Lucknow Barracks in Tidworth, Wiltshire, after being put through the physical exercise punishment on 3 July.

He was later taken by ambulance to Salisbury District Hospital and admitted without any medical notes.

Doctors were not told he had been subjected to heavy exercise that day.

His body temperature was 41.7C, way above the norm of 37C, and tests showed he had ecstasy in his body when he died.

Three non-commissioned officers, Sgt Russell Price, of 2 Rifles, Sgt Paul Blake and Cpl John Edwards, both from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh - who carried out the punishment - were cleared of manslaughter at Winchester Crown Court in 2008.

The hearing continues.

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