CCTV footage to be examined at soldiers inquest

INQUEST Private Matt Brooks
INQUEST Private Matt Brooks

Wallet taken from vehicle

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AN INQUEST has been shown detailed CCTV footage of the night a soldier was attacked in Guildhall Walk.

It comes at the start of a five day inquest into the death of Private Matt Brooks.

Pte Brooks, 21, from Trowbridge in Wiltshire, died in May 18 last year, five days after he was attacked in Yates bar.

The 18-year-old was serving in the Army’s Royal Logistics Corps and was enrolled on a course at HMS Sultan, in Gosport, at the time of his death.

A post mortem examination showed that he had died as a result of a severe head injury.

Dean Aldcroft, 22, of Warwick Crescent, Portsmouth, Hampshire, was arrested and charged with his manslaughter but the charge was later dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) because of insufficient evidence.

Pte Brooks’ parents said in a statement released after the decision: ‘We are bitterly disappointed by the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to discontinue the case against Aldcroft.

‘We have met with police and the CPS and they have explained how they came to this decision. Aldcroft has claimed self defence. Unfortunately there is no CCTV covering the area of the car park where the second incident took place.

‘The onus to disprove this lies with the police. The standard of proof to be met is a high standard. We feel betrayed by the UK justice system. Aldcroft will not be answerable in a crown court. Matt is not alive to have his say and we feel deprived of this and let down by the CPS’ decision.

‘Matt was truly a remarkable young man, and had a bright future within the Army, which had been identified by his commanding officer. His outlook on life was to grasp every opportunity and live life to the full. Matt was a devoted loving family man with total commitment to his girlfriend.

‘He is going to be deeply missed by everyone who knew him, they say some people make a difference, Matt was one of those people. It is Matt’s character and outlook on life that is supporting us through this catastrophic time.’

The inquest is being held at the Civic Centre in Southampton.