THE solicitor who represented the families of two men who died during an SAS training exercise on the Brecon Beacons has criticised the trial that saw two SAS servicemen acquitted of charges related to their deaths.

Clare Stevens, partner at JMW Solicitors and a military injury legal expert, said: “This is one of the most shocking and tragic cases I have ever advised on. The failings were significant and went right to the top - the two put on trial are scapegoats for those at the top.

“Those that should have been on trial weren’t.”

The SAS servicemen on trial, known only as 1A and 1B, denied negligently performing a duty by failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of candidates taking part in the exercises.

Lance Corporal Craig Roberts and L/Cpl Edward Maher were pronounced dead on the Welsh mountain range after suffering heatstroke on July 13, 2013.

Corporal James Dunsby died more than two weeks later from multiple organ failure in hospital.

Clare Stevens, who represented represented James Dunsby’s father at the inquest and also represented Craig Roberts’ family following the inquest, has criticised how the Ministry of Defence is immune from prosecution under health and safety legislation and argued that the organisation needs to be held to account.

She said: “It is time for the MOD to stop policing and dealing with justice themselves - only then can it be said that the families are getting real, genuine justice. Only then will the MoD be forced into changing its approach to safety. Only then can we be sure that everything has been done to prevent such tragic and avoidable deaths.”

1A and 1B, whose identities are protected by an anonymity order, went on trial at the Court Martial Centre in Wiltshire on September 17.