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Old 30-12-2010, 08:19 PM   #1
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Question Trainee deaths at Deepcut

Trainee deaths at Deepcut

The deaths of four trainees at Deepcut, between 1995 and 2002, are the attention of significant media interest, with investigations by Surrey Police indicating suicide being rejected by families who have called for a public inquiry into the circumstances. Criticism had also been directed at the army investigations of the deaths with concerns over record keeping, maintenance of evidence and forensic material and transparency.

The four deaths were:[1]

* On June 9, 1995, Private Sean Benton, of Hastings, East Sussex, died with five bullet wounds to his chest.?

* On 27 November 1995, Private Cheryl James, of Froncysllte, Llangollen was found dead with a single bullet wound to her head at the headquarters of the Royal Logistic Corps in woods not far from her abandoned guard post.

* On 17 September 2001, Private Geoff Gray, from Hackney, East London, was found with two gunshot wounds to his head? having left colleagues to undertake a lone prowler patrol in contravention of normal policy

* On 23 March 2002, Private James Collinson, from Perth, was found dead with a single gunshot wound while on guard duty at the barracks.


First investigations of each death were undertaken by Surrey Police and the Royal Military Police, as each was an independent incident. A later review by Surrey Police treated the four deaths as potentially related, but sustained a judgement of suicide, a further investigation by Surrey Police identified a number of failures of the Army's duty of care at the barracks, leaving the opportunity and motive for suicide available.

Finally a review by Nicholas Blake QC published in March 2006[1] following a two year investigation suggested the deaths were self-inflicted but criticised a number of aspects of training at Deepcut which could have contributed to the deaths. Blake is a member of Matrix Chambers, a leading human rights legal practice in the UK.

Points identified by the report were:

* The training environment at Deepcut, causing low morale through poor accommodation, limited recreational facilities, and the balance between privacy and dormitory life.

* Unsupervised access to weapons.
* Supervision of trainees.
* Discipline, bullying and informal sanctions.
* Ventilation of grievances.
* Poor instructors.

A report by the Army Board of Inquiry was due to be published in December 2007, but was delayed by the Ministry of Defence until, being published in May 2009. The inquiry supported Blake's findings and returned open verdicts.

Articles critical of the investigations by journalists Brian Cathcart and Heather Mills have been published in Private Eye. The publication has been consistently critical of these judgements and continues to support the families appeals for further investigations. These criticisms identify the initial forensic investigations as a weakness, undermining the later judgements. Cathcart has also been critical of the treatment of the four cases in the media.

The deaths were used as the basis for a play, Deep Cut, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival followed by a short run at the Tricycle Theatre in London

Four mysterious deaths but NO smoking gun?

One of Cheryl's friends said the 18-year-old recruit had been forced to have sex with a corporal at the barracks

ballistics tests suggesting that only one was fired from close range and the others from a distance

Five shots had been fired and the other THREE bullets have not been found

hearing from witnesses that during a search after the shots were fired a figure was seen running away

The Collinsons insist their son was murdered and there has been a cover-up.
"Evil be to him who evil thinks".

MoD to sell off barracks where army recruits died,_Deepcut...

Last edited by lightgiver; 30-12-2010 at 08:40 PM.
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