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Exclusive Inquest launched into the death of Royal Navy officer in Bahrain

AN INQUEST will probe the death of a Royal Navy officer who died while on service in the Gulf, the Morning Star has learned.

Thirty-year-old Lieutenant Steven Clarke died on December 10 at a British naval base in Bahrain.

More details about the officer’s death will be heard at Milton Keynes coroner’s court on June 14 by senior coroner Thomas Osborne. The court will sit for one day only and there will not be a jury.

Lt Clarke’s death has received almost no publicity so far, apart from a passing reference on a United States naval blog, which suggested that his death may have been part of a triple suicide among Western military personnel in the Gulf.

US Navy Middle East chief and Fifth Fleet commander Vice-Admiral Scott Stearney was found dead at his home in Bahrain just 10 days before Lt Clarke’s death. A more junior US sailor died in Dubai a day before Lt Clarke.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) eventually disclosed the death of a member of the British armed forces in an obscure statistical bulletin released five months after Lt Clarke died. It listed one unnamed death on Operation Kipion in the final quarter of 2018 — the only death on operations among the forces from that period.

When contacted by the Star, the MoD confirmed this death referred to Lt Clarke, who was due to start training for a new role in naval intelligence in January this year.

An MoD spokesman said: “Our thoughts and sympathies remain with his family and friends at this time.”

Lt Clarke’s body was repatriated to RAF Brize Norton on December 18 amid heavy rain. Hundreds attended his funeral and the Royal Navy performed a gun salute.

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