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Corporal died after drinking session.

An Army corporal died after fracturing his skull when he fell following a night of heavy drinking with other soldiers, an inquest heard yesterday.

David Nevison, aged 24, died in hospital 19 days after suffering severe head injuries at the Base Ordnance Depot at Temple Herdewyke, near Kineton, Warwickshire.

Coroner Mr Michael Coker recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The inquest at Leamington Spa heard Corporal Nevison, a soldier with the Royal Logistic Corp, had drank ten pints with other soldiers in a pub at nearby Northend.

He was later found behind the camp's main gatehouse with blood on his face and a lump on the back of his head.

Another corporal with the regiment, Mark Lawson, was arrested on suspicion of assault after Corporal Nevison, of Southend, Essex was found in a bloodied state shortly after midnight on October 3 last year.

But Mr Coker said he was satisfied Cpl Lawson - who was a friend of the dead man and who had been drinking with him in the pub - had nothing to do with the injuries to Corporal Nevison, adding: "Very publicly he has been alleged to be involved in it and I don't think he was."

The coroner added: "Mr Lawson must have been extremely worried at having become involved in this. I am satisfied that on full inquiries he had nothing to do with it and I say that publicly."

Cpl Lawson told the court that he remembered arriving back at the base, but events after he had passed through the main gate were "quite hazy".

The soldier added that he could not recall "a great deal" after that, except exchanging some friendly banter with Cpl Nevison.

Asked by the coroner if he knew how Cpl Nevison came to be on the floor, Cpl Lawson replied: "No, sir."

Dr Helen Whitwell said a post mortem examination and forensic tests on both soldiers' clothing had found nothing to link Corporal Lawson with any assault.

The dead man's regimental sergeant major, Alastair Rae, described the verdict as "a positive outcome" which followed a thorough and proper investigation.

He said: "It was a tragic and sad loss both for our unit and David's family."
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 2, 1998
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