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Friday, 2 August, 2002, 03:54 GMT 04:54 UK
Army gets tough over soldier deaths
Guard post
Four soldiers died at Deepcut barracks in Surrey
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said it will not protect anyone found guilty of wrong-doing in connection with investigations into the deaths of young soldiers.

It follows recent revelations that the army had destroyed evidence relating to the deaths of four soldiers at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey.

Deepcut deaths
March 2002: Pte James Collinson, 17, from Perth, Scotland
September 2001: Pte Geoff Gray, 17, from London
November 1995: Pte Cheryl James, 18, from Llangollen, Denbighshire, Wales
June 1995: Pte Sean Benton, 20, from Hastings

Fresh concerns have arisen over the way the army has handled other cases.

The army disclosed last week that it had destroyed some potentially important evidence relating to three deaths at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey.

It said it could not have known detectives would re-investigate four fatal shootings at the base.

Parents of soldiers who have died in barracks allege that the army has also changed evidence during the course of a number of inquiries.

In one case, evidence given at an inquest conflicted with official army records.

In another case, an important armoury document showed the same rifle used in a shooting in Bosnia being checked out to two soldiers on the day of the death.

'Tell police of suspicions'

The paper was subsequently altered and an army inquiry said it was a clerical error.

A man whose son died at Drumadd barracks in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, claims one witness changed his statement after pressure was brought to bear.

An MoD spokesman said it was not possible to comment in detail on cases under investigation, but that people should take any suspicions of misconduct to the police.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Andrew Hosken
"Now there are concerns about how inquiries are conducted"
See also:

04 Jul 02 | England
21 May 02 | Scotland
27 Mar 02 | England
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