Coroner to deliver ruling on soldier 'beasting' death


A coroner is expected to deliver his conclusion on the death of a young soldier who died almost a decade ago after a "beasting".

Alan Large, assistant coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, is to record his findings today following a six-week inquest into the circumstances of Private Gavin Williams's death.

The 22-year-old collapsed from heatstroke on one of the hottest days of 2006 after being put through the unofficial Army punishment by senior non-commissioned officers at Lucknow Barracks in Tidworth, Wiltshire.

Pte Williams, of the Second Battalion the Royal Welsh Regiment, died after being subjected to the intense session of physical exercise to punish him for disobedience and a series of drunken high jinks.

He was later admitted to hospital where tests showed his body temperature was 41.7C, way above the norm of 37C. Tests later showed he had ecstasy in his body when he died.

Sgt Russell Price, the Provost Sergeant in charge of discipline, and two colleagues, physical training instructor Sergeant Paul Blake and Provost Corporal John Edwards, were cleared of manslaughter in 2008.

The inquest into the death of Pte Williams, from Hengoed, south Wales, resumed in November at Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner's Court in Salisbury and heard evidence from around 100 witnesses.