Father criticises delay in holding military inquests

FATHER Robin Hollington
FATHER Robin Hollington
British military dog Mali who has received the PDSA Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross with his current handler Corporal Daniel Hatley

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THE father of Richard Hollington criticised the length of time it took for the inquest to take place.

Yesterday’s hearing came almost 18 months since the Royal Marine died from infected wounds he’d sustained in a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

The coroner Aidan Cotter apologised to the family for how long it had taken, saying the coroners system has been under-funded for years. He said: ‘There are many reasons for the delay but they all come down to money.’

Afterwards, Mne Holligton’s father Robin paid tribute to his son, saying: ‘We said at the time that Richard’s death left a huge numbing hole in our family and over the last 18 months that has proved to be the case and continues to be so.

‘It has been comforting to find out how highly regarded Richard was held by all. We always have been and always will be immensely proud of Richard and we are desperately sad at his death. We miss him terribly.’

And he added: ‘I would like to draw attention to the coroner’s remarks about the cruel length of time it can take to hold a military casualty inquest. It seems to me it will not cost a great deal and I call on the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice to make it happen.’