Coroner Gives Verdict On Ballykinler Deaths

Posted on February 28, 2019

The search is on to find a Royal Air Force memorial a new home after it was found dumped in a skip in Birmingham.

The plaque, dedicated to Flight Lieutenant Ronald Crook, was found in a skip by a local estate agent outside the former home of a Royal British Legion club in Kings Heath.

Coroner Joe McCrisken ruled that he considers Lance Corporal James Ross’ death to be an “accident”, and stated he believes Rifleman Darren Mitchell did intend to take his own life.

Explaining his findings, the coroner outlined evidence including a message Rifleman Mitchell left on his Facebook page and WhatsApp messages between him and his girlfriend in the hours before his death, and the discovery of a hosepipe in his car which smelt of fumes.

However, Mr McCrisken said he was not satisfied to the required standard for his findings that Lance Corporal Ross intended to end his own life.

“I consider James Ross’ death to be an accident,” he said.

The findings conclude a three-week inquest at Ballymena Court House.

Rifleman Mitchell and Lance Corporal Ross were both found dead at Abercorn Barracks in Ballykinler, County Down.

Rifleman Mitchell, 20, from London, was found dead in his room on February 10, 2013.

It came just months after another soldier, Lance Corporal James Ross, 30, from Leeds, was also found hanged in his room, on December 8, 2012.

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