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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 16:59 GMT
Red Caps' final moments revealed
From top left: Sergeant Simon Alexander Hamilton-Jewell; Corporal Russell Aston; Corporal Paul Graham Long; Corporal Simon Miller; Lance-Corporal Benjamin Hyde; Lance-Corporal Thomas Keys.
The incident was one of the bloodiest in the Army's recent history
There have been tearful scenes at the inquest into the death of six Royal Military Policemen, as forensic reports into how they died were read.

The men were killed by a mob of Iraqis who cornered them in a police station.

The court in Oxford heard Cpl Simon Miller, 21, had been battered with a rifle, punched in the face and shot.

There was anger over the coroner's refusal to allow a pathologist to be questioned over alleged inappropriate use of photos of some of the dead men.

The men were killed in Majar al-Kabir on 24 June 2003 in one of the bloodiest episodes in the Army's recent history.

The MoD said the deaths were not preventable, although the families say there was negligence and lack of care.

A number of their relatives could not bear to hear the full litany of injuries listed by pathologists and left the coroner's court in tears.

SIX DEATHS IN IRAQ
Cpl Simon Miller
21, from Tyne and Wear
Sgt Simon Hamilton-Jewell
41, of Chessington, Surrey
Cpl Russell Aston
30, of Swadlincote, Derbyshire
Cpl Paul Long
24, from Colchester
L/Cpl Benjamin McGowan Hyde
23, of Northallerton, North Yorkshire
L/Cpl Tom Keys
20, of Bala, North Wales

L/Cpl Thomas Keys, from Bala in north Wales, had been shot 18 times, including wounds in his temple and shins, possibly from clutching his knees, or kneeling, Dr Nicholas Hunt said. A single shot to the head had killed him.

He had bruises over much of his body, possibly indicating an assault.

Cpl Miller had grazes consistent with being dragged. He had been shot at close range in the chest two or three times, and in the face, which had killed him.

There was anger amongst the relatives when the coroner prevented the families' lawyer asking Dr Hunt about his alleged use of photos of three of the men at a seminar, without permission from their next-of-kin.

Brother's anger

John Miller, Cpl Miller's father, said Dr Hunt had shown pictures of his son, L/Cpl Keys and Sgt Hamilton-Jewell to a group of travel agents in a talk on how to establish temporary mortuaries in disaster areas.

Sgt Hamilton-Jewell's brother Tony stormed out of the hearing and pursued Dr Hunt into the street to seek an apology.

The court also heard from another pathologist, Dr Nathaniel Carey, that Cpl Russell Aston, 30, was shot 13 times, and Sgt Simon Hamilton-Jewell 14 times.

The ballistics reports into the men's deaths showed Cpl Aston had been shot by 7.62mm ammunition, commonly used in AK-47s, through his left forehead and his right cheek.

Bullets had also passed through his neck and chest, with two entering his back and others his arms.

Evidence will be heard about the deaths of the remaining soldiers - Cpl Paul Graham Long, 24, from Colchester, Essex and L/Cpl Benjamin John McGowan Hyde, 23, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire - on Thursday.

The inquest was adjourned.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
A father of one of the victims talks about the attacks



SEE ALSO:
Eyewitness: Walls riddled with bullets
25 Jun 03 |  Middle East


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