Army major takes responsibility for death

Nov. 10, 2012 at 1:51 AM
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INVERNESS, Scotland, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- A British army major pleaded guilty Friday to safety violations that helped cause the death of a teenage girl during cadet training in the Scottish Hebrides.

Major George McCallum, who entered a plea to violations of the Health and Safety at Work Act in a hearing in Inverness, will be spared a jail term, The Scotsman reported. Sentencing was postponed for two weeks.

Kaylee McIntosh, 14, from Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, drowned during a cadets training exercise on South Uist in 2007. Prosecutors said she was wearing a lifejacket designed for a full-grown soldier in combat gear and was unable to escape after being trapped under a boat because she was too buoyant to swim underneath it.

No count was made of the cadets after the exercise, and no one noticed Kaylee was missing for an hour and a half.

"The consequence of his -- and organizational -- failing is that a 14-year-old cadet needlessly and tragically died during a training camp at which her parents believed her to be safe," the prosecutor said.

Lesley and Derek McIntosh, who said they will continue their campaign to get justice for their daughter, said McCallum had taken "the only honorable route." By pleading guilty, he had spared them additional hearings, the couple said in a statement.

McCallum is a veteran of the Falklands War and of Northern Ireland.

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