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Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
Profile: Andrew Walker
Andrew Walker
Andrew Walker was the coroner at ITV reporter Terry Lloyd's inquest

Coroner Andrew Walker has criticised the Ministry of Defence over a "lack of basic equipment" for British soldiers in Afghanistan.

Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner Mr Walker's comments came at an inquest into the death of Capt James Philippson who was killed in a firefight with the Taleban in June 2006.

It is not the first time Mr Walker has made outspoken comments while conducting inquests into UK military deaths.

Mr Walker was appointed to his role by Oxfordshire Coroner Nicholas Gardiner on 6 June 2006.

The barrister was already qualified to sit as a coroner at a number of courts in London.

In the case of military deaths, when the bodies are flown back to RAF Brize Norton at Carterton, Oxfordshire, they come under the jurisdiction of the coroner in that county.

Mr Walker was appointed to help clear a backlog of military inquests which had developed in Oxfordshire.

Cockpit video

Some of Mr Walker's most high-profile comments have involved attempts to obtain information involving the American authorities.

In February 2007, he launched an attack on the MoD for refusing to release a cockpit video tape of a US aircraft opening fire on troops in Iraq, which killed Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull.

Mr Walker said it was "inexcusable" that US authorities failed to release evidence about the first British casualties of the Iraq war in March 2003.

That came at the inquest into the deaths of eight UK servicemen who were killed along with four US marines in a helicopter crash in Kuwait.

Nimrod MR2
Mr Walker refused to return MoD documents on a Nimrod crash

Mr Walker was critical of the Iraq "friendly fire" deaths of Marine Christopher Maddison and Sgt Steven Roberts, in separate incidents in March 2003.

He said there were serious failures in the chain of command in the case of Marine Maddison, and "unforgivable and inexcusable" delays in providing body armour for Sgt Roberts.

The MoD again came under fire from Mr Walker for making a family "fight every step of the way" to get information about the death in Iraq of Cpl John Cosby.

A row broke out over the inquest into the deaths of 14 servicemen who were killed when an RAF Nimrod crashed in Afghanistan in September 2006.

Mr Walker refused to return documents which had been given to him by the MoD by mistake - the coroner said he was worried he would not see the material again.

In January 2008, Mr Walker said it was "inexcusable" that a hospital in Oman failed to tell the family of L/Cpl Paul Muirhead he was about to die.

Unlawful killing

Mr Walker conducted the inquest in October 2006 into the death of ITN reporter Terry Lloyd, who was shot dead by US forces in southern Iraq in March 2003.

His finding of unlawful killing was the strongest verdict a coroner can record.

He said the troops shot 50-year-old Mr Lloyd in the head while he was in a makeshift ambulance.

Mr Lloyd's interpreter was also killed and his cameraman was missing believed dead following the incident, which took place near Basra.

Mr Walker asked the attorney general to consider pressing charges.

He also wrote to the director of public prosecutions asking for an investigation into the possibility of bringing charges.

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