A Kabul inquest revealed that the parents of a soldier killed in a gunshot accident in Kabul were’reduced by tears’ hours before his death.
Private Joseph Berry was 21 years old and served with the ‘A’ company of the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, Kabul (Afghanistan) at the time of his passing on February 22, 2020.
After breaking weapons and leaving him with teary eyes, he had been given a telling-off by his sergeant major that day. The Warrington Coroner’s Court inquest heard.
The private was later found dead beside his Glock 9mm pistol. Pathology and forensic specialists concluded that he died from a gunshot injury with characteristics that were’strongly supportive’ of self-infliction.
Family members were shocked to learn of the death of their loved one. They said that the private was not known for having had any mental or emotional problems in his past.
Lisa Snow, his mother, stated that her son wanted to be a Paras soldier since he was 14.
He was enjoying it and was living the dream. He wanted to travel the world, and the Army could help him achieve that goal.
Private Joseph Berry (21 years of age) was serving in Kabul with “A” Company of 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment at the time of his suicide on 22 February 2020. The private was discovered dead near his Glock 9mm pistol. Both pathology and forensic specialists concluded that he had died of a gunshot wound.
British Army stated that Berry died due to a “non-battle injuries” and described Berry as an “optimistic, capable, compassionate soldier” who showed great promise.
Pte. Berberry, a Cheshire teen, was found with his 9mm Glock pistol and a note from his family in his notebook at New Kabul Camp compound.
Along with other witnesses, Ms Snow stated that her son was making plans and never had any depression. She also said she didn’t talk about self-harm.
She stated that his final WhatsApp message before his death had indicated that he was feeling ‘exceptionally happy’ today.
Nick Berry, RAF Squadron Leader, made a joke about how he was’massively dissatisfied’ that his son chose to don the ‘wrong badge’ and joined the Army.
Berry claimed he had been beaten up thinking that he might have missed signs. However, Berry replied: “There was nothing there.”
Alan Moore (Senior Coroner for Cheshire) replied, “Sometimes it isn’t.”
Pte. Berry used an incorrect piece of equipment to clean his gun barrel and left cloth in the muzzle.
Also, he had broken protocol by unloading his SA80 rifle and making it safe in his home rather than being monitored in an area designated by orders “from up high”.
Pte. Berry was inquest described him as being’very liked’, but he also disliked being in the spotlight or embarrassed. Sergeant Major Christopher Groves was tearful when he told Pte Berry off.
SM Groves heard Mr Moore tell SM Groves that he was aware of a more colorful military term’ for a telling off. It wasn’t a ‘cosy conversation’.
Michael Davison representing Pte. Berry asked SM Groves: SM Groves, did that concern you when he looked so teary-eyed?
SM Groves responded: ‘It did. And so I spoke with him. We all make mistakes. He smiled, nodded and continued his day.
Private Berry, who was last year found dead at New Kabul Compound, had been killed in the attack. It was previously used by NATO forces, the United Kingdom and US for several years until it was turned over to Afghan troops last year.
Pte Berry was told by SM Groves that he would look into the matter. However, shortly after, the private sent a message to Lance Corporal Josh Brown detailing a particular location at the base. The text read: ‘Thanks so much for being such a great friend. It would be nice if I could do more in all areas. Love you man.’
SM Groves, others raced to the spot where Private Kyle Smith discovered the body. A padre and a doctor were also called.
Pathology and forensic experts determined that Pte. Berry was killed by a gunshot injury with characteristics that were’strongly supportive’ of self-infliction.
Sergeant Christopher Belk of the Royal Military Police (RMP) said that Private Berry wrote in his notebook at the scene, indicating an intent to endanger himself.
He said that there wasn’t any evidence of bullying. He was a respected member of the regiment. He said that the Army side is safe.
Berry claimed that his son, who was an engineer by trade, joined the Paras “because they were best”, and added that he was extremely proud of both what he did as well as what he was.
“Sittee here with my parents, I’m so proud.”
Since 2013, the Glock 17 9mm pistol is in British Army service. Private Berry, who was carrying a Glock 17 9mm pistol with him in service since 2013, was found shot to death. He also had a note for his loved ones written in his notebook.
Mark Smith, Private Berry’s older brother said that he would always do anything to make others happy. He was aware he wanted the Army and had always wanted the best. This is why he joined paratroopers.
“He was even able to recover from pneumonia, and he passed his entire qualification despite spending weeks in bed.”
Berry was raised in Crewe in Cheshire and started training in September 2017 with The Parachute Regiment Training Company.
British Army stated that Berry died due to a “non-battle injuries” and described Berry as a soldier with great potential who was optimistic, skilled, compassionate, and capable.
The hearing was rescheduled for Thursday morning.