Royal Navy Sailor In Court Over Sub Shootings

11 April 2011, 13:51

A Royal Navy serviceman has been remanded into custory charged with the murder of a colleague from Wigan and the attempted murder of three other crew.

Able Seaman Ryan Samuel Donovan, 22, of Hillside Road, Dartford, Kent, spoke only to confirm his name, age and address during the short hearing at Southampton Magistrates' Court.

Donovan has been charged with the murder of Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux, 36 and from Wigan who was fatally shot on board HMS Astute while it was docked in Southampton, Hampshire, on Friday.

He has also been charged with the attempted murders of Petty Officer Christopher Brown, 36, Chief Petty Officer David McCoy, 37, and Lieutenant Commander Christopher Hodge, 45.

Donovan, who was wearing a black T-shirt and appeared to be unshaven, was remanded in custody to appear at Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday April 13.

Nick Hawkins, prosecuting, said that the case could have been handled internally by the armed forces but it had been agreed that the case would be held in the civilian courts.

Lt Cdr Molyneux's widow, Gillian, described the father of four from Wigan as "utterly devoted to his family''.

She added: "Everything he did was for us. He was very proud to be an officer in the Royal Navy Submarine Service.''

The shootings took place as local dignitaries, including the city council's mayor, chief executive and leader, were being given a tour of the submarine while it was berthed at the Eastern Docks on a five-day official visit to the city.

HMS Astute has been cleared to leave Southampton this afternoon to return to its base at Faslane, Scotland.

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