Chicksands soldier who died in lake was twice over drink drive limit

Coroner-s-Court

- Credit: Archant

AN ARMY corporal died after he fell into an ornamental lake after drinking at a party, a coroner’s court heard.

Today (Wednesday), an inquest at Ampthill Coroner’s Court heard that 37-year-old Corporal Martin John Kelleher, of Chicksands Military Barracks, died of the shock of the cold water.

He was last seen at 12.30am on May 10 leaving the social club barracks and was reported missing to police at about 7.45pm.

His body was found at about 11.30am the following day in the lake at the barracks.

A toxicology report stated there was no evidence of drugs but that Mr Kelleher was twice over the driving limit for alcohol.


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PC Darren Woodhouse said at the inquest: “I spoke to two of the soldiers who were the last to see him alive. They said he was fine but was intoxicated, there was nothing out of the ordinary.”

Major Joseph Lyons, also giving evidence, said Mr Kelleher was liked and well respected but had wandered off before and then returned.

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Assistant coroner Bob Amos summed up by saying that it was more than likely that Mr Kelleher fell into the water, given that he wasn’t a good swimmer and had his shoes on.

He said: “Corporal Martin Kelleher died as a result of immersion in an ornamental lake. The circumstances in which he entered the water are unknown. There is no evidence to point to the involvement of a third party or that he intended to take his own life.“

The coroner recorded a narrative verdict.

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