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Dartford sailor in crown court over fatal shooting and wounding of nuclear sub crew

PUBLISHED: 17:18 13 April 2011

Able Seaman Donovan

Able Seaman Donovan

Archant

A Royal Navy sailor made his first appearance in crown court yesterday charged with the murder of a crew member and attempted murders of three others on a nuclear submarine.

Able Seaman Ryan Samuel Donovan, 22, of Hillside Road, Dartford, attended Winchester Crown Court after he was remanded in custody at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The former Abbey Wood pupil 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.

Mr Donovan 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.

Judge Keith Cutler adjourned the case for a plea and case management hearing on June 10 and remanded Mr Donovan in custody until then.

On Saturday, Lt Cdr Molyneux’s widow, Gillian, paid an emotional tribute to her husband, describing the father-of-four as “utterly devoted to his family”.

She added: “Everything he did was for us. He was very proud to be an officer in the Royal Navy Submarine Service.

“He will live on in our four beautiful children.”

The shootings took place as local dignitaries — including the city council’s mayor, chief executive and leader — were being given a tour of HMS Astute, which was on a five-day official visit to Southampton.

The 97m (318ft)-long craft is the UK’s newest nuclear-powered attack submarine and is based at the Faslane Naval Base on the River Clyde. It has since returned to base.

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