Man charged over British nuclear submarine killing

10th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

British police on Sunday charged a Royal Navy officer with murder after a fellow officer was shot dead on a British nuclear-powered submarine, the country's prosecution service confirmed.

Ryan Donovan, 22, was also charged with three counts of attempted murder following Friday's incident on board the HMS Astute, Britain's most advanced submarine.

The attack claimed the life of Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux, 36. Lieutenant Commander Chris Hodge, 45, was in a stable condition in hospital Sunday.

The shootings happened as local politicians were being shown around the vessel during its five-day visit to the port of Southampton, on the south coast of England.

"I...have authorised them (the police) to charge Ryan Samuel Donovan with Ian Molyneux's murder and with the attempted murder of Christopher Brown, David McCoy, and Christopher Hodge," said Nick Hawkins, chief prosecutor for the Wessex service, which covers Southampton.

Royston Smith, leader of the local council, tackled the gunman before he could empty his SA80 rifle.

HMS Astute, which is almost 328 feet (100 metres) long, was launched by Prince Charles' wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, in June 2007 but was only deployed in August last year.

It made headlines two months later in October when it ran aground off the coast of Scotland and had to be towed home. The submarine was then damaged in a collision with the tug and had to be repaired.

© 2011 AFP

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