3 Mar 2010

Inquest begins into death of Christchurch soldier

12:41 pm on 3 March 2010

An inquest has begun into the death of a soldier following surgery at Christchurch Hospital.

Clinton Botha died in March last year after an operation to relieve a congenital condition which causes severe headaches.

Two witnesses gave evidence on Wednesday morning at the inquest before Coroner Richard McElrea.

Senior Constable Paul Martin said the police are satisfied there are no suspicious circumstances or criminal liability.

Pathologist Martin Sage said the 21-year-old died unexpectedly and suddenly following his operation.

He said the post-mortem showed no evidence of a surgical mishap, or a pre-existing life-threatening disease.

Dr Sage said he was unable to answer many of Mr Botha's family's questions, as they want him to comment on the evidence of witnesses who are yet to present it.

The coroner adjourned the inquest to await the outcome of the Health and Disability Commissioner's inquiry.