Michael Maguire

Ranger Michael Maguire died in 2012.

An Army captain has been convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence at a court martial after a soldier was killed during a live fire exercise.

Thirty-two-year-old Captain Jonathan Price was found guilty of the death of Ranger Michael Maguire at Castlemartin training area.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Bell and Warrant Officer Stuart Pankhurst were found guilty of negligently performing a duty.

Ranger Maguire, 21 was serving with the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment when he was hit in the head by a stray bullet in 2012.

Nigel Lickley QC, prosecuting, told the trial at Bulford in Wiltshire: "All three men played their part in causing this catastrophe in different ways.

"The common sense of the situation is you do not point guns at people, you do not design, permit or allow an activity that allows machine guns to fire directly in line with your men, men that you know are there, men that you might be able to see, if not the vehicles that are with them."

Mr Lickley also said Capt Price was accused of negligence by failing to attend a recce of the range when preparing a Range Action Safety Plan (RASP), that he placed targets too close together and he failed to "deconflict" the two exercises.

Rgr Maguire was one of several soldiers who came under machine gun fire during the training exercise at Castlemartin.

He had joined the battalion in May 2010 and had completed a tour of Afghanistan.

Last May, the court martial heard how the two Army officers and warrant officer "had a total disregard for the safety" of their men when they organised the live ammunition training exercise, which was preparing the troops for deployment to Kenya.

Capt Price, Lt Col Bell and WO Pankhurst are set to be sentenced on 24 July.

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