British man died in Ukraine shell attack - coroner

time:2023-06-09 06:29:42source:NBC News author:news

The first Briton confirmed to have died while defending Ukraine was killed in a shelling attack, a coroner has found.

Scott Sibley, 36, of Immingham, North East Lincolnshire, died on 22 April in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine, after a drone strike on his regiment.

Senior coroner Darren Salter ruled Mr Sibley was "killed while on active service for the Ukrainian army".

The inquest at Oxford Coroner's Court heard the father-of-three and British Army veteran was hit by a mortar.

Mr Salter said Grimsby-born Mr Sibley had been working as an HGV driver based in South Killingholme, North East Lincolnshire, when Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Having served in Afghanistan as part of the Royal Logistic Corps before withdrawing five years earlier, he decided he wanted to use his experience to help.

He flew from Manchester to Ukraine on 13 March and joined the International Brigade of Ukraine in Mykolaiv.

The soldier's relatives, including his younger sister Victoria, watched the hearing by videolink, and his mother, Mary Sibley, described him in a statement as "a good person" who "would do anything for anyone".

A statement from a consular official was read to the court by the coroner, describing Mr Sibley's final moments from his position in a small military pit, known as a foxhole.

It said: "A drone was seen overhead. Moments later, one mortar landed on the side of the foxhole where Scott was, compromising the foxhole.

"He ran to another foxhole, and while he was running, another mortar hit him, killing him instantly."

It said Mr Sibley "sustained fatal injuries to his chest and abdomen", including damage to his left lung and a ruptured kidney.

A statement from Mrs Sibley read: "He had heard news about women and children being abused. He wanted to help.

"He knew Ukraine was requiring assistance, especially from those with military experience, which Scott had.

"Scott would do anything to help anyone. He had a good heart, and was a good person."

A Ukrainian death certificate was issued for Mr Sibley on 25 April, and his body was repatriated to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford on 24 May.

He was formally identified through dental records, and by a distinctive tattoo of two hands, one large and one small, on the back of his left shoulder.

The coroner said a forensic pathologist concluded "there is nothing that could have been done to have saved his life".

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