The family of a soldier who died during a training exercise at a Scots shooting range are demanding action after a damning report revealed a catalogue of errors in the run up to his death.

Lance Corporal Joe Spencer, of 3rd Battalion The Rifles, died at RAF Tain in the Highlands on November 1 2016 after shooting himself with his own rifle in a dark shipping container during the exercise.

A report by the Defence Safety Authority released yesterday said there had been a "series of errors, shortfalls and poor judgement" at the shooting range exercise and described his death as an "avoidable accident".

But the family of the 24-year-old, who lived with his partner in Dundee, said they have been left "disappointed" by the report.

They said it "raises numerous unanswered questions due to the abundance of unsubstantiated speculations and assumptions and factual inaccuracies and inconsistencies".

In a statement, they said they had been "extremely upset" that the report had been published despite their questions when they were shown the conclusions last month - to which they said they had not received a response.

They said: "It is clear to us the individuals responsible for delivering the sniper training course did not do so in accordance with the mandated course syllabus and requisite rules and regulations. We strongly believe Joe would still be with us today if they had."

The soldier's partner Cherycce Connelly said: "The report details far more failings than we could ever have anticipated and to say I am both angry and disappointed with its findings would be an understatement."

The 24-year-old, who lives in Dundee, added: "Joe deserved better. He was not on active deployment in a war zone. He was in training, where risk to life should have been minimal. Joe should have come home."

The report, said the soldier died after his rifle discharged as he rested his chin on the weapon.

But it also revealed a lack of proper supervision, training and the austere condition of RAF Tain all contributed to his death.

It highlighted how the base had no toilet facilities and the most experienced senior officer was on his way to Fort George to get hot meals for the soldiers dinner due to a lack of facilities.

The soldiers were carrying out specialist sniper training on the day, but it was delayed firstly by no chef to cook the soldiers breakfast at Fort George followed by further delays by poor visibility at Tain.

This left just over one hour to carry out two shooting drills which normally last an hour each which led to rushed orders and poorly supervised weapon inspections.

The weather was also factor as there was torrential rain and high winds during the exercise which was also hampered by poorly constructed targets.

When L Copl Spencer shot himself, the report said there was personal belongings littering the floor of the dark container and it concluded that as he bounced his loaded rifle off his boot and floor, it could have got tangled in something which let the trigger off.

It said: "Whilst resting his chin on the weapon's suppressor, equipment or clothing most probably snagged the rifle's trigger inadvertently, resulting in its discharge.

"That his weapon was in an unsafe condition with a round chambered was extremely likely to have been caused by an incomplete unload drill being carried out earlier that day."

The report added: "Whilst the initiative shown by the SNCOs (senior non commissioned officers) in wanting to conduct an SOC (Sniper Operators' Course) is commendable, a series of errors, shortfalls and poor judgement conspired and ended in the death of a capable and highly-regarded JNCO (junior non commissioned officer)."

It said poor supervision and a failure to follow mandated procedures were themes of the Service Inquiry report and added that the "post-accident response fell short in a number of areas".

The report said there had been lower levels of supervision throughout the course and specifically on the day of the soldier's death and made a number of recommendations for the future.

The Tain training facility is used by the RAF and the army and it has a rifle range and a small arms range as well as bombing ranges for aircraft.

The range is also used by US and other Nato air forces for bombing and strafing practice.

Following the report's publication, an Army spokeswoman said: "Our thoughts remain with Lance Corporal Joe Spencer's friends and family at this difficult time.

"The safety and welfare of our personnel is of the utmost importance and we will now carefully consider the recommendations which have been made by the Service Inquiry."