Sailor in court over sub shootings
A Royal Navy sailor has appeared in court accused of the murder of a colleague and the attempted murders of three other crew members on board a nuclear submarine.
Able Seaman Ryan Samuel Donovan, 22, of Hillside Road, Dartford, Kent, spoke only to confirm his name, age and address during the short hearing at Southampton Magistrates' Court.
Donovan is charged with the murder of Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux, 36, who was fatally shot on board HMS Astute while it was docked in Southampton, Hampshire, on Friday.
He is also charged with the attempted murders of Petty Officer Christopher Brown, 36, Chief Petty Officer David McCoy, 37, and Lieutenant Commander Christopher Hodge, 45.
Donovan, who was wearing a black T-shirt and appeared to be unshaven, was remanded in custody to appear at Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday April 13.
Nick Hawkins, prosecuting, said the case could have been handled internally by the armed forces but it had been agreed that it would be held in the civilian courts.
The shootings took place as local dignitaries, including the city council's mayor, chief executive and leader, were being given a tour of the submarine while it was berthed at the Eastern Docks on a five-day official visit to the city.
HMS Astute has been cleared to leave Southampton and return to its base at Faslane, Scotland.
Mr Hawkins, the chief prosecutor for Hampshire Crown Prosecution Service, said because the defendant is a serviceman he also falls under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces.
"The Armed Forces do have jurisdiction but during the course of the weekend I had discussions with the director of service prosecutions and we are in agreement this case is properly to be tried in the civilian courts and therefore should be dealt with no differently to any other murder or attempted murder cases that appears before your court."