Nick Hawkins statement on Ryan Donovan


Nick Hawkins, CCP for the Wessex Area has given a statement on the Case of Ryan Donovan, an able seaman who shot dead an officer, wounded another and shot at two more of his colleagues.

Nick Hawkins, Chief Crown Prosecutor of CPS Wessex, said:

"This was a shocking and unprecedented event where an Able Seaman shot dead an officer, wounded another and shot at two more of his colleagues in the presence not only of naval staff but also civilian visitors on board HMS Astute. A group of school children who had only just left after their visit were waiting on the jetty and heard the gunshots.

"By pleading guilty, Ryan Donovan has taken criminal responsibility for his actions and, with this conviction, the family of Lieutenant Commander Molyneux and the other victims and their families will not have to relive these painful moments throughout a trial.

"My thoughts are with Mrs Molyneux and her family for their sad loss, and also with Petty Officer Christopher Brown, Chief Petty Officer David McCoy and Lieutenant Commander Christopher Hodge, who also have to live with the memory of that day.

"Donovan was in possession of an SA80 rifle and 30 rounds of live ammunition in the course of his duties as a sentry. He used this gun to shoot firstly at Chief Petty Officer McCoy and Petty Officer Brown. Fortunately, he missed them both and they were unhurt. He then shot Lieutenant Commander Molyneux once in the head, who died as a result of the wound he received.

"He finally shot Lieutenant Commander Hodge once in the abdomen, causing him serious injuries. Donovan was wrestled to the ground by two civilians who acted heroically, without regard to their own safety, and he was restrained and disarmed. During the struggle a seventh bullet was discharged.

"We have worked very closely with Hampshire Constabulary and the Royal Navy on this investigation, producing a very strong case that resulted in Ryan Donovan pleading guilty and being sentenced just five months after this tragic event."