Former EDP reporter was unlawfully killed

Nothing could have prevented the death of a Norfolk-born journalist in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, a coroner ruled yesterday.

Former Eastern Daily Press reporter Rupert Hamer, pictured, was travelling in a US Marine Corps armoured personnel carrier at the back of a resupply convoy when it was caught in the explosion on January 9, 2010.

An inquest in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, heard that the Sunday Mirror correspondent, who began his career at the EDP in the 1980s, died despite wearing full standard-issue body armour.

A US Marine was also killed and Sunday Mirror photographer Philip Coburn, who was sitting next to Mr Hamer, was seriously injured.

Recording a verdict of unlawful killing, David Ridley, Wiltshire and Swindon coroner, said: 'No matter how much training was given, I don't think it would have changed the outcome.

'This was not an act of war. It was a cold-blooded killing. The purpose of the device was to maim and kill American service personnel.

'Sadly the mine killed a member of the Marines but also wounded Mr Coburn and took Rupert's life.'

Most Read

The court heard that the 100lb improvised explosive device (IED) went off underneath the vehicle in the Nawa area of Afghanistan.

It was detonated by watching Taliban insurgents. Mr Hamer, 39, and Mr Coburn, 44, were travelling in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle at the time. Mr Hamer had been defence correspondent for the Sunday Mirror since 2004 and was on his sixth assignment in Afghanistan.