A coroner has ruled that a soldier from Sunderland killed when a US Apache helicopter mistakenly attacked a British base in Afghanistan died as a result of "mistaken beliefs and cumulative failures."
Lance Corporal Christopher Roney of 3rd Battalion The Rifles was 23 years old.
He died from head injuries he suffered while manning a position at Patrol Base Almas in Sangin, Helmand, on December 21 2009.
Coroner Derek Winter delivered a narrative verdict after a five-day hearing at Sunderland Civic Centre.
He listed a series of errors made leading up to the tragedy.
He ruled: "L/Cpl Christopher Roney died as a consequence of assumptions made, mistaken beliefs and cumulative failures by friendly forces to appropriately assess the totality of their situational awareness.
"The deployment and use by friendly forces of attack helicopters was done in circumstances that ought to have been assessed by them to conclude sooner than they did that their target was not an enemy force and that the attack should be aborted."
Two US gunships had been called in to help following a Taliban attack on the base and one fired 200 rounds in two strafing runs, wrongly believing it was an enemy position.
The coroner heard evidence from soldiers on the ground who said they could not understand where the attack was coming from.
He also heard from senior staff based in the operations room who liaised with the US pilots.
The inquest was told that mistakes were made when the Apache pilots were given a series of grid references and told there were no friendly forces in the vicinity.
The family of L/Cpl Roney have criticised the Ministry of Defence and said some of their actions have "upset them considerably".
In a statement submitted to the inquest, the family said: "It has occurred to us that the evidence supplied by the MoD has been delayed and timed to suit them, for reasons we don't know.
"Also, we believe the documentation has been written and worded cleverly to make this incident look a lot less serious than what it actually was.
"This has upset the family considerably and gives the family the impression that Chris and his comrades who were injured that night mean very little to the Army."
They ended the statement by saying they think the MoD should be "held accountable for their actions".
The coroner said lessons must be learned and he will write to the Defence Secretary with recommendations.
An MoD spokesman said: "Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Lance Corporal Christopher Roney.
"This tragic incident occurred in a highly challenging and fast-moving operational environment.
"All of those involved acted with the best intentions to assist their comrades, but tragically mistakes were made.
"Comprehensive investigations have been conducted and key lessons identified.
"Processes have been updated, training has been enhanced and patrol base mapping has been improved.
"The Army and MoD will now also closely study the coroner's findings as part of our commitment to ensure all possible lessons are learned."
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