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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 14:05 GMT
Date set for nerve gas inquest
Ronald Maddison
Mr Maddison thought he was helping to cure the common cold
A new inquest into the death of a soldier involved in nerve gas trials at Porton Down is to be held in November - more than 50 years after he died.

Ronald Maddison died at the Ministry of Defence's laboratories on Salisbury Plain in 1953.

A full hearing into what led to his death is to begin at Trowbridge Town Hall in Wiltshire on Tuesday 18 November and will last six to eight weeks.

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf quashed the original verdict of misadventure last year and ordered a second inquest to be opened into Mr Maddison's death.

The original inquest was held in secret "for reasons of national security" but Mr Maddison's family and others have campaigned for decades for the truth to be revealed.

RAF engineer Ronald Maddison, originally from Consett, County Durham, was 20 when he took part in what he thought was an experiment to find a cure for the common cold in May 1953.

Former servicemen who claim some of their colleagues died after being used in germ warfare tests at Porton Down have campaigned for an investigation into events at the site.

Nerve gas inquest to be re-opened
18 Nov 02  |  England
Decision due on nerve gas inquest
18 Nov 02  |  England
MoD 'will not oppose' new inquest
29 Jul 02  |  England
New inquest on Porton Down victim
22 Apr 02  |  England
Porton Down inquest may re-open
19 Dec 00  |  UK News

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