A FULL inquest will be opened into the death of a Tidworth soldier who died of heatstroke at Salisbury Hospital following a punishment “beasting” in 2006.

Private Gavin Williams, 22, of Hengoed, Caerphilly, was ordered to do a 60-minute high-speed march carrying a heavy rucksack, followed by a half-hour gym workout as a punishment for drunken behaviour at a regimental ball.

But Pte Williams overheated and later died in hospital.

Three officers who carried out the punishment in July 2006 at Lucknow barracks in Tidworth were cleared of manslaughter at Winchester Crown Court in 2008.

Captain Mark Davis denied ordering the beasting.

The court had heard Pte Williams was to be disciplined for letting off a fire extinguisher at one of Capt Davis' guests.

He told the jury at Winchester Crown Court it was "usual process" for provost staff to make soldiers march on their way to a telling off.

Capt Davis admitted he was angry and told Pte Williams he was "a disgrace" and was "messing up his life", but said he knew nothing about the alleged "beasting".

After the acquittal, trial judge Mr Justice Royce attacked the Army for allowing beasting to take place.

In his summing up, he asked the jury to consider whether the defendants had been "hung out to dry" while their commander was not prosecuted.

Wiltshire Coroner David Ridley is to hold a pre-inquest review on November 27 and Captain Davis may be called to give evidence at the full inquest.

Tidworth Mayor Chris Franklin said he was shocked that a death of this nature had taken so long to be heard at an inquest.

Wiltshire Police said they conducted a full investigation into the death in 2006 but a spokesman added: “The force will investigate any new evidence found as a result of the forthcoming inquest.”

Private Williams’ mother Debra, from Hengoed, Caerphilly, has fought for a full inquest.

Mrs Williams told the Sunday Mirror in 2008: “I thought the Army would be the making of him, instead it killed him.

"Someone should be brought to account.”