Brave officer threw himself at gunman

Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux
Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux

A JUNIOR rating who went on a murderous rampage onboard a nuclear-powered submarine shot a Naval officer from Wigan as he tried to tackle him, an inquest has heard.

Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux would have fallen unconscious immediately after he suffered the gunshot wound in the incident on HMS Astute while it was docked at Southampton, Hampshire, on April 8, 2011, the inquest was told.

Able seaman Ryan Donovan, 23, was jailed for life to serve a minimum of 25 years after pleading guilty at Winchester Crown Court to the murder of Lt Cdr Molyneux.

The navigator yeoman also pleaded guilty to attempting to murder Lt Cdr Christopher Hodge, 45, who he shot in the stomach.

The inquest which resumed at Southampton yesterday heard that Lt Cdr Molyneux, 36, who lived in Springfield with his wife Gillian and four young children, Jamie, Aaron, Bethany and Charlie, suffered a single gunshot wound to the top of his head.

Lt Cdr Molyneux, a popular junior rugby coach, was posthumously awarded the George Medal, one of the highest accolades for bravery, in November.

The inquest, which is being heard by a jury, was adjourned until today, and is expected to last up to two weeks.