Monday, April 11, 2011
An able seaman in the Royal Navy has appeared at a magistrates court in Southampton, England this morning, charged with murder and attempted murder. Able Seaman Ryan Samuel Donovan is accused of shooting a crewmate dead in a Royal Navy nuclear submarine last week. One other crewman, Lt. Commander Christopher Hodge, was seriously injured in the attack and remains in stable condition at a local hospital.
Last night, the chief prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex confirmed that 22-year old Donovan, who served aboard HMS Astute, had been charged with killing 36-year-old Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux and attempting to murder three others; Petty Officer Christopher Brown, Chief Petty Officer David McCoy and Lieutenant Commander Christopher Hodge. "Having reviewed the evidence, I am satisfied that there is sufficient to charge him, and that it is in the public interest to do so," he said.
Over the weekend serious questions over the Royal Navy's recruitment policy were raised as it emerged he had changed his name to Reggie Moondogg and tried to start a singing career as a rap artist. Relatives of the alleged gunman criticised the Royal Navy for not allowing Donovan to leave the Astute after a confrontation with a number of other crewmen. One, speaking on condition of anonymity, said senior officers knew of Donovan's deteriorating relationships with several other crew, but failed to take action.
The shootings occurred on Friday when the submarine was docked in Southampton and a party of local dignitaries visited the vessel. It is alleged Donovan walked into the control room of the ship with an SA80 assault rifle and fired multiple shots, killing Molyneux and injuring another serviceman. Molyneux's widow, Gillian, has this weekend described Molyneux, a father of four, as "utterly devoted to his family".
== Related articles ==
"Two shot on nuclear submarine in Southampton, England" — Wikinews, April 8, 2011
== Sources ==
"Nuclear submarine sailor appears in court over shooting" — BBC News Online, April 11, 2011
Victoria Ward, Martin Evans, Andrew Hough. "HMS Astute shooting: submarine murder accused 'desperate to leave ship'" — The Telegraph, April 11, 2011
"Nuclear submarine sailor charged with murder" — BBC News Online, April 10, 2011
"Nuclear Sub Shootings: Able Seaman Charged" — Sky News Online, April 10, 2011
Steven Morris. "Submarine shooting: Sentry held on suspicion of murder" — The Guardian, April 9, 2011