British Army officers and sergeant deny charges over Cork soldier's death by stray bullet

British Army officers and sergeant deny charges over Cork soldier's death by stray bullet
Michael Maguire

Two British Army officers and a sergeant have denied charges relating to the death of a soldier, from West Cork, killed by a stray bullet.

Ranger Michael Maguire, of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, was taking part in a live ammunitions training exercise when he was fatally struck in the head.

Captain Jonathan Price denied a charge of manslaughter, while Colonel Richard Bell and Colour Sergeant Stuart Pankhurst pleaded not guilty to a charge of negligently performing a duty.

The exercise, at the Castlemartin Training Area in Pembrokeshire in May 2012, involved soldiers firing live rounds at both static and pop-up targets.

Mr Maguire, from Coomhola, Bantry, who was 6ft 7in, joined the 1st battalion on May 10, 2010, and was sent to Afghanistan four months later. He was known to his army friends as High Tower.

A former U14 Cork county football championship medal winner, Michael was the youngest child of Michael Sr and Maureen Maguire, and is also survived by two brothers and a sister.

Members of the Royal Irish Regiment carry the coffin of Michael Maguire at his funeral at Kilmacomogue cemetery, Kealkil, West Cork in 2012. Pic: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Members of the Royal Irish Regiment carry the coffin of Michael Maguire at his funeral at Kilmacomogue cemetery, Kealkil, West Cork in 2012. Pic: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

He went to school at St Goban’s College, Bantry.

The three defendants will face a court martial in Bulford, Wiltshire on May 14, which is expected to last around six weeks.

- PA and Digital desk

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