Soldier who shot Sussex comrade in Afganistan will not be prosecuted

Lance Corporal James Brynin of the Intelligence Corps was killed in action in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Tuesday ENGSUS00320131017090808
Lance Corporal James Brynin of the Intelligence Corps was killed in action in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Tuesday ENGSUS00320131017090808

A soldier who shot his comrade, James Brynin, in Afganistan will not be prosecuted, a Sussex inquest heard today.

Lance Corporal James Brynin from Pulborough was killed by friendly fire on October 15 2013 while fighting Taliban forces.

L/Cpl JAMES BRYNIN INQUEST PICTURED L/COLONEL PETER HAYWARD. By Eddie Mitchell.

L/Cpl JAMES BRYNIN INQUEST PICTURED L/COLONEL PETER HAYWARD. By Eddie Mitchell.

The inquest was reopened today after an investigation concluded there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to charge Lance Corporal of Horse Mark Kelly with a homocide offence.

The court in Arundel heard from commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Edward Hayward how LCoH Kelly had been ‘in denial’, but had since taken responsibility for his actions.

“He said everything was fine and then he came into my office and shut the door. He said he was fine,” Lt Col Hayward said.

“I told him to pause, that this was the first day of the rest of his life that he would have to live with the knowledge as a professional soldier, that he had killed one of his fellow soldiers.

“Then he broke down.”

Lt Col Hayward went on to explain how LCoH Kelly had undergone all mantatory training both before and after the incident, and was now deemed fit for service in operations, pending a final training exercise.

“It’s had a profound impact on him,” he said.

“He’s been filling in the role he does with a lot more care and rigour than others who haven’t been through this.”

When pressed on whether training would be a sufficient test of LCoH Kelly’s ability in a real life situation, Lt.Col Hayward said he had ‘never been surprised’ by soldiers who performed well in exercises.

West Sussex coroner Penolope Schofield is due to conclude the inquest tomorrow.

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