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Inquest opens into Haverfordwest soldier killed in action in Iraq

An inquest has opened into the death of Haverfordwest soldier Corporal Desmond Joel Duckett, who died whilst in active combat in Iraq last January.

The 36-year-old soldier, who lived at Guillemot Avenue, Haverfordwest, was killed in action on January 29, 2022, however the details surrounding his death have yet to be confirmed.

This week acting senior coroner, Mr Paul Bennett, stated that progress in the inquest is being impeded by the lack of information which has been provided by the MoD.

“The prospect of making realistic progress is something that’s not going to arise today,” Mr Bennett told this morning’s inquest.

“Until we get the appropriate schedules of disclosure and non-disclosure from the MoD, we can’t make substantial progress.”

Meanwhile the solicitor who is representing Mr Duckett’s family, Ms Charlotte Law, requested that immediate measures be taken to ensure that the relevant information is released.

“I’m conscious that the family wants answers or even a possible time frame,” she said.

“ So can we have an approximate date about the completion of the report, or even a statement confirming that this date is not yet known?”

Ms Law’s request was endorsed by coroner Paul Bennett.

“Clearly the family needs to have an expectation about when this might arise,” he said.

Following their request, Sgt Paul Young agreed to make enquiries with the MoD concerning the release of the information which will enable the inquest to be relisted for a further hearing.

“May I tell the family how sorry I am that the inquest process is going to be a protracted one,” added Paul Bennett.

“But I will endeavour to make sure that matters progress as quickly as they can.  But much depends on others ensuring that processes are followed to provide the relevant documentation.”