Brize Norton: Servicemen 'unlawfully killed'

5 November 2013, 18:12 | Updated: 5 November 2013, 18:21

A British serviceman, based at RAF Brize Norton, shot dead by two rogue Afghan policemen was unlawfully killed while on active service, a coroner has ruled.

Corporal Brent McCarthy, 25, of Telford, Shropshire, and his colleague Lance Corporal Lee Davies, 27, of Barry, South Glamorgan, died of gunshot wounds sustained in a hail of bullets unleashed at point blank range at an Afghan police base in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand province on Saturday, May 12, last year.

Recording his verdicts, Darren Salter, coroner for Oxfordshire, said both men had, in the words of their former commander, performed "phenomenally'' on operations.

Earlier the former commander told the inquest they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Benjamin Bardsley said at Oxfordshire Coroners Court it was his belief the two Afghans, dressed in police uniforms, had staged an "opportunistic'' attack on his men.

He described both Cpl McCarthy, an RAF policeman, and L/Cpl Davies, of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, as "phenomenal soldiers'' fully capable of doing the job.

"I don't know why they were attacked - it may have been the Afghans had been turned by the Taliban in the previous weeks,'' he added.

"I am sure it was nothing the corporals did. I think it was just wrong time, wrong place with these two Afghans set on what they did.''