Kayaking Instructor Cleared Of Negligence Over Soldier Death

Private Jamie Sawyer was swept out to sea and drowned during an adventure training exercise in Cyprus.

A British kayaking instructor has been cleared of negligence by a court in Cyprus following the death of a 20-year-old soldier.

Private Jamie Sawyer drowned in 2015 during an adventure training exercise. 

David Hughes was a highly qualified kayaking instructor hired by the military in Cyprus to run kayaking courses on the island.

In March 2015 he took a group of young soldiers on a trip around Cape Greco.

Forty minutes in the weather changed dramatically and several kayakers - including Private Sawyer - capsized.

The young RLC chef, who was serving with the Mercian Regiment in Nicosia, was swept out to sea and drowned.

David Hughes was extradited from Slovakia and charged with recklessly endangering life by ignoring weather reports.

But today, after a trial lasting 10 months, Judge Anna Bantasy discharged the case.

She found Mr Hughes had followed protocol and taken sufficient precautions.

Private Sawyer's family left the court in tears.

An inquest into the soldier's death will now resume in the UK at a date to be fixed.