SAS soldiers face trial over 3 men’s deaths on notorious Brecon Beacons training exercise

SAS soldiers face trial over 3 men’s deaths on notorious Brecon Beacons training exercise
British SAS special force soldiers are to face trial over the deaths of three Army reservists who were taken on a 16-mile (26km) march in the Brecon Beacons. Two unnamed SAS soldiers will appear before a court-martial.

The men, known only as 1A and 1B, both deny ‘negligently performing a duty’ to take care of the candidates taking part in the exercise.

Lance Corporal Craig Roberts and Lance Corporal Edward Maher were pronounced dead on the Welsh mountain range while Corporal James Dunsby died at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital from multiple organ failure. The final death took place more than two weeks after the incident in July 2013.

An anonymity order protects the identity of the two men who led the exercise for the notoriously-tough SAS.

On Monday, both men appeared behind a screen at Colchester Military Court, accompanied by their barrister Lewis Cherry. In a 30 minute court appearance the men gave their ranks and numbers in writing.

If convicted they will face up to two years in prison and dismissal from the forces. The charges say they “performed a duty negligently, namely the duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of candidates taking part in an exercise.”

However, 1B, a former warrant officer who was the chief instructor on the exercise, denied a charge of negligently performing a duty. Serving captain 1A also denied the charge.

Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett announced the men will face a three-week trial from September 3 at a military court in Bulford, Wiltshire.

A verdict in the trial by court-martial will be decided by a panel of five military personnel.

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