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5 May 2010, 14:53
The Mother of soldier Jamie Janes sobbed at his inquest, as an Army pathologist said her son would have bled to death within 15 minutes of a Taliban blast in Helmand Province in October.
Jacqui Janes was comforted by a friend as details of his horrific injuries were read out to the Brighton hearing.
The inquest heard the patrol Guardsman Janes was in was struck by the blast as they negotiated a narrow, 1.5m-wide track.
Major David Hunt, who carried out a review following the fatal incident in an effort to learn lessons, said nothing the Army could do could make it safer. He said there be could be no fault found with any of the tactics used by the men or with their equipment. And he said only ``low level'' tactical lessons could be learned, such as not having troops bunched together in such a narrow area, but in this instance it was unavoidable.
Recording a verdict of unlawful killing, Brighton and Hove coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley paid rich tribute to the ``selfless heroism'' of Guardsman Janes and his colleagues. She said: ``I have held hundreds of inquests over the years but I have rarely, if ever, come across such selfless heroism as has been exhibited by all the people who fight in theatres, like Afghanistan, particularly the men I have heard from today, whether they were directly or indirectly involved.
``As for Jamie himself, he too acted heroically, he was a hero. I can't imagine how Army families can come to terms with the things that they have to cope with and to manage them in such a dignified way is beyond me.''
The troops did not act with ``inadvertence or carelessness'', she added. She went on: ``They were aware that the IEDs were there and unfortunately something, and I don't know, not even he experts can tell us, what triggered that device.
``One thing I'm sure about is that it was not triggered by anybody's inadvertence or carelessness. These are not men who live lives where inadvertence or carelessness has any part to play.''