Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

No second inquiry for soldier's death

Corporal Douglas Hughes.
Corporal Douglas Hughes.

There will not be a second coronial inquiry into the death of Corporal Douglas Hughes, the Deputy Solicitor-General has decided.

Corporal Hughes, 26, committed suicide while in Afghanistan on April 3 last year.

A military court of inquiry was held into his death but a coronial inquiry did not conclude because the coroner, Gordon Matenga, was satisfied the process and outcomes of the military inquiry had fulfilled the purpose of a coronial inquiry.

However, Corporal Hughes' mother, as well as Labour Party MPs Phil Goff and Andrew Little, made a request to the Solicitor-General for a coronial inquiry to be held.

In a statement, Deputy Solicitor-General Cheryl Gwyn said Coroner Matenga had not been wrong to rely on the findings of the military court of inquiry.

"I have concluded that the information I received from Corporal Hughes' family does not constitute new evidence ... and would not have materially altered the court of inquiries outcomes.

"Nor have I found an example of irregularity or insufficient independence in the original proceedings that would justify a further inquiry."

Where to get help

Youth services: (06) 3555 906

Youthline: 0800 376 633

Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (4pm to 6pm weekdays)

Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (noon to midnight)

The Word

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (24-hour service)

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

CASPER Suicide Prevention

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.


© Copyright 2015, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 03 Sep 2015 11:25:32 Processing Time: 508ms