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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 19:41 GMT
Officer died in Iraq bomb attack
Captain David Jones and his wife Isobel
Captain Jones, pictured with his wife Isobel, was killed in Basra
An army officer was killed by a remote controlled bomb while travelling in an ambulance in Iraq, an inquest heard.

Captain David Martyn Jones from the First Queen's Lancashire Regiment was being treated for a stab wound when the bomb exploded on a road in Basra.

The 29-year-old from Louth in Lincolnshire died shortly after the blast in August 2003.

Coroner Nicholas Gardiner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing at Oxford Coroner's Court.

Chris Dolan, 30, from Chester, was driving the Land Rover which was clearly marked as an ambulance when the bomb exploded.

'Deepest sympathy'

He told Wednesday's inquest: "As we were driving along, it just seemed to go dead quiet and all of a sudden all the glass started coming into the vehicle and I felt a burning sensation all over my arms and face.

"I managed to stop the vehicle. I was knocked out for a couple of minutes and when I came round, Capt Jones was laid across me and he had a wound on the back of his neck."

The victim's father, Michael Jones, asked bomb disposal expert Captain Daren Fisher: "Battlefield ambulances deployed in Northern Ireland had armed protection but those deployed in Iraq didn't have protection, why is that ?"

Capt Fisher said: "Even in Northern Ireland it would not have been possible to use Saxon (armoured vehicles) all the time and the threat was not great enough at the time for the whole Army to use Saxons.

"As this threat emerged and grew then these were brought in more."

He added that electronic devices to detect the bombs were constantly being developed but there was a "game of cat-and-mouse" to keep up with the insurgents.

Capt Jones' wife Isobel and both his parents attended the inquest.

Mr Gardiner told the family that they had his "deepest sympathies" for their loss.

The soldiers were from the First Battalion Queens Lancashire Regiment based at Catterick, North Yorkshire.

Capt Jones joined the Army in December 1991 as a soldier in the Royal Army Medical Corps.


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