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Former soldier to be sentenced in Shilo over fatal landmine incident

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A former Canadian soldier who led a deadly training exercise in Afghanistan three years ago will be sentenced today in Shilo.

Paul Ravensdale was convicted on four charges, including breach of duty causing death, for the Feb. 12, 2010 incident that killed one soldier and injured four others.

The sentencing was originally slated for Monday but had to be postponed until today because of poor weather in Shilo. The military judge hearing the case, Col. Mario Dutil, will deliver the decision.

The military prosecutor in the case has asked for a four-year prison sentence.

But Ravensdale's lawyer told a sentencing hearing earlier this month the now-retired warrant officer was involved in a "tragic accident" and has suffered enough.

Ravensdale was leading a test of C-19 anti-personnel mines at a weapons range near Kandahar city on Feb. 12, 2010, when one apparently misfired, sending hundreds of steel ball bearings backward instead of forward. The projectiles killed Cpl. Josh Baker, 24, and injured four other soldiers.

He was convicted on four charges, including breach of duty causing death for ignoring safety rules that require soldiers to be at least 100 metres behind a C-19 mine unless they are shielded by a dugout, a vehicle or some other barrier. Video at the court martial showed some soldiers standing much closer than 100 metres and with no protection.

The weapons test had been planned for a week and the court martial was told Ravensdale never consulted the Canadian Forces' weapons training guide or the operating instructions for the C-19s.

 

-- with files from The Canadian Press

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