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Men acquitted after fatal SAS march in Brecon Beacons

Men acquitted after fatal SAS march in Brecon Beacons

Two men overseeing an SAS selection march in which three reservists died have been acquitted of negligence.

L/Cpl Edward Maher, 31, L/Cpl Craig Roberts, 24, and Cpl James Dunsby, 31, died after the trek during which they carried up to 27kg (4st) on their backs on one of the hottest days of 2013.

A serving officer and former warrant officer, who faced court martial, denied negligence on the 16-mile march.

The judge said they had no case to answer at Bulford Military Court.

Judge Jeff Blackett directed the five-person board at the court martial to acquit them.

Identifiable only as 1A, a captain in command, and 1B, a warrant officer who has since left the Royal Marines, the men were overseeing the selection exercise in the Brecon Beacons.

L/Cpl Roberts, from Conwy county, and L/Cpl Maher, from Winchester, were pronounced dead on the Welsh mountain range after suffering heatstroke on July 13, 2013.

Cpl Dunsby, from Solihull in the West Midlands, died at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital from multiple organ failure more than two weeks later.

Speaking after the hearing, his widow Bryher Dunsby said the court martial "revealed the shocking reality that there is still no official guidance for those conducting endurance training marches in the British Army on heat illness" five years after the three men died.

"This is beyond unacceptable, and shows blatant ignorance to a vital need, where apparently three deaths are not enough to incite change," she said.

"Nothing highlights this more than since the inquest in 2015 there have been yet further incidents from heat in training, even on Brecon."

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