A CRAZED gunman was almost twice the drink drive limit when he shot dead his boss on board a nuclear in Southampton, an inquest heard today.
Doctors revealed how Able Seaman Ryan Donovan was “significantly” over the limit, when he gunned down Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux on board HMS Astute on April 8, 2011.
Dr Paul Williams, an expert in forensic sciences, told Southampton Coroner's Court that Donovan had been on a drinking binge at bars and clubs across the city in the 48 hours before he was handed a rifle for sentry duty.
He told the court that “conservative estimates” suggested Donovan had drunk more than 20 pints of lager and cider, four mojito cocktails, at least two bottles of beer, three double vodka and cokes and another unidentified pint of alcohol between 3pm on April 6 and 4.13am on April 8.
Based on those drinks, Dr Williams said that Donovan would have had 139mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood at the time of the shooting – almost twice the drink drive limit of 80mg.
But Dr Williams told the court: “In reality, it’s probably even higher than that.”
Earlier today, forensic toxicologist Julie Evans told the hearing that traces of cocaine and codeine had been found in strands of Donovan’s hair.
A statement was also read out on behalf of a health care professional, who had assessed Donovan on April 10, in which the gunman confessed to “snorting cocaine” and taking cannabis and methadone “when offered” during his time with the Royal Navy.
The hearing at Southampton Civic Centre also heard from a colleague of Donovan, who claimed that he was still drunk when he saw him at 10am on the day of the shooting – just two hours before he was due to report for armed duty.
Leading chef Steven Bailey, 29, told coroner Keith Wiseman: “I thought he was still drunk when I saw him.”
He added that he beliebed Donovan “wasn’t fit for armed duty” that day.
Lt Cmdr Molyneux's widow Gillian was reduced to tears during Mr Bailey's evidence this morning.
The inquest was told that the Royal Navy has tightened its rules on alcohol since the tragedy.
Ryan Donovan, 23, is currently serving a minimum of 25 years behind bars for the murder of Lieutenant Commander Molyneux and the attempted murder of Lieutenant Commander Christopher Hodge, who he shot in the stomach.
Read more from the inquest: