THE BODY of a soldier killed in Iraq was repatriated via RAF Brize Norton yesterday.

Captain Dean Sprouting of the Adjutant General’s Corps died at Al Asad Air Base on January 31 while serving with Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The incident is currently under investigation, but the Ministry of Defence confirmed that it was not the result of enemy activity.

Commanding officer of 3rd Battalion Lt Col Rob Hedderwick said: "Dean was simply one of those people whose infectious humour and enthusiasm drew others to him. His professional knowledge was second to none and his sage advice already something I had come to rely on."

The father-of-two of Denny, Stirlingshire joined the army in 1989, going on to serve in Northern Yugoslavia, Cyprus and Kosovo. In 2011 he was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

The cortege went from RAF Brize Norton to the John Radcliffe Hospital.