- The ex-Army sergeant major was attempting to neutralise a 100kg improvised explosive device (IED) by so-called Islamic State group Isis.
- Though experienced at searching for and identifying IEDs, he was unqualified to deactivate them, the court heard.
A former British soldier was unlawfully killed while trying to defuse a bomb in Iraq, an inquest has found.
Stuart Coburn, 43, from Shepton Mallet, Somerset, was working as a contractor in Ramadi when he died in August 2016.
The ex-Army sergeant major was attempting to neutralise a 100kg improvised explosive device (IED) by so-called Islamic State group Isis.
Though experienced at searching for and identifying IEDs, he was unqualified to deactivate them, the court heard.
Samantha Marsh, senior coroner at Somerset Coroner's court said: "I am persuaded, on the evidence, that Stu could not have mistakenly believed himself to be qualified."
"He was fully aware that he did not have the required half a year of specialist training or any practical experience to be an IED operator," she added.
'He promised me'
Made from five gas canisters and accompanied by a radio control trigger, the device was able to be activated by a mobile phone and a dead man's switch.
It was found inside a large skip and could be activated via movement, the court heard.
Ms Marsh said there was no evidence the device was being watched or that Mr Coburn was the direct target, however the explosion was caused due to his interaction with it.
"On the balance of probabilities poor decisions were made that an experienced operator would not have made and have directly contributed to Stu's death," she said.
His wife Jenny Coburn told the inquest her husband would never have risked his life or anyone else's.
"He promised me that if he didn't feel safe out there, he'd come back," she said.
"His position there was a search team leader and he would be on site in an advisory role. He promised me he wouldn't be working on the devices himself but telling others what to do.
"I tended to believe him but in the back of my head I knew that if something had to be done, he'd do it.
"I know that he would not put himself at risk on purpose or anybody else."
'Miss their dad'
Ms Coburn said her husband, who had served with the Royal Engineers for more than 20 years and had been on tours to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Northern Ireland, was out there "to help people of Iraq return to their homes and their lives".
She said: "Stu was our family's rock. He always knew what to do and was an amazing husband and father.
"Life is incredibly hard without Stu in it, both for me and the children.
"It certainly has not been an easy journey for them, and they miss their dad terribly, but they are doing themselves, myself and their dad proud.
"It will forever be tough not having my husband by my side, especially as I watch the girls grow.
"However, we will continue to remember Stu and the impact he had on all of our lives," she added.