TWO SAS soldiers allegedly trained reservists so hard they “died where they fell” during a 16-mile march.
The special forces pair, known only as 1A and 1B, are accused of failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of three trainees during the exercise.
Lance Corporal Craig Roberts, 24, and L/Cpl Edward Maher, 31, were both pronounced dead after suffering heatstroke during the yomp in the Brecon Beacons.
Corporal James Dunsby, 31, died in hospital from multiple organ failure two weeks later.
1A was a captain in charge of the march, while 1B was the chief instructor on the exercise in the Welsh mountain range.
“It is clear that something went terribly wrong”
Louis Mably QC
They are now on trial at the Court Martial Centre in Bulford, Wilts.
Both deny “negligently performing a duty” during the exercise on July 13, 2013.
Louis Mably QC, prosecuting, said: “The risk to the candidates wasn’t properly appreciated or assessed and in this regard there was a negligent failure with planning and preparation.
“Two reservist candidates collapsed on the road from heat illness and died where they fell.
“A third reservist who also collapsed on the road later died in hospital.
“There were also a number of non-fatal heat illness casualties.”
He said recruits on the march had to carry a 27kg backpack and a dummy rifle in around 30C heat.
Mr Mably told the board the trainees had less than nine hours to complete the task.
Those who pulled out failed their application, providing an incentive to “keep on going”.
He said the risk of heat illness was well known and “the defendants ought to have taken proper attention” to it.
He added: “One of the fundamental duties of the defendants in relation to heat illness was to be aware of the climatic conditions.”
Mr Mably said that if the defendants had “obtained that kind of reading and been aware of the conditions” they would have been alert to the “very real risk that the exercise was about to be affected by heat illness”.
He added: “It is clear that something went terribly wrong. The defendants lost control of events and ended up in a position where they couldn’t account for a number of candidates.”
The hearing continues.