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By Kevin Unitt Monday 18 February 2013 Updated: 18/02 08:42
A SOLDIER bled to death after punching through the glass of a door at his army base following a drunken New Year's Eve party.
An inquest held in Leamington on Friday afternoon (February 15) heard Philip Charles Westberg, 27, died in an empty accommodation block at the Defence Munitions (DM) base at Kineton, near, Southam, on January 1 this year.
Durham-born Mr Westberg, an ammunition technician with 121 Squadron the Royal Logistic Corps, had been off base shopping with a female friend Becky Jane Given in Banbury on New Year's Eve, before they went out in the evening. Around midnight he began to drink shorts, including a mix of spirits, before reaching – according to Ms Given - 'nine out of ten' on the drunkenness scale.
Mr Westberg, who joined the army in 2007 and received a tour medal for service in Afghanistan, was later driven back to DM Kineton, becoming more maudlin and emotional as he reached the security gate, where he argued with guard staff before heading off toward his accommodation block. He was not seen alive again.
At about 11.30am that morning corporal Steven Goldburn discovered broken glass at the entrance to an empty accommodation block and “blood everywhere”. The fire service and police were called.
Mr Westberg is believed to have bled to death after severing a main artery in his arm after punching through a door with reinforced glass and wire inside. He had been dead for up to six hours when found. Any third party involvement was ruled out.
Coroner Sean Patrick McGovern, recording a verdict of accidental death, said: “Around midnight Mr Westberg significantly increased the amount of alcohol he was consuming.
“In punching he severed an artery in his right forearm, taking a few steps before collapsing. No one was around to see what had happened.
“I offer my condolences to Mr Westberg's father.”
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