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Monday, 27 January, 2003, 11:16 GMT
Bugging fear for Deepcut parents
Deepcut Barracks, Surrey
Police are investigating a number of deaths
The parents of a young soldier whose death is being investigated by police believe their home may have been bugged.

Jim and Yvonne Collinson, who think their son James was murdered at Deepcut Army Barracks, said listening equipment was found after detectives swept their home on Friday.

The family said Surrey Police, who are looking into a series of deaths at the barracks near Camberley, had asked police in Scotland to scan their home in Perth.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mrs Collinson said police had detected a device in the switch of a lamp, which is located next to a telephone in the family's sitting room.

Private James Collinson
Private James Collinson was found dead at the barracks

She said: "We'd basically have to destroy the lamp because the area that it is reacting to is a sealed switch, and to be honest we don't really see the point and if someone is listening to us, then let them listen because we have nothing to hide."

Private Geoff Gray, 17, from Seaham, County Durham, Private Sean Benton, 20, from Hastings, East Sussex, Private James Collinson, 17, from Perth, and Private Cheryl James, from Llangollen, north Wales, died from gunshot wounds at the barracks between 1995 and 2002.

Their families do not believe they committed suicide by turning their own rifles on themselves, as Army investigations concluded.

Police are now reinvestigating the deaths and the Army has been criticised for losing evidence such as paperwork and soldiers' clothing.

'Paranoid'

The Collinsons have campaigned for a public inquiry into the death of their son and the family has claimed there has been a cover-up over a series of deaths at the barracks.

The family also believes there has been a culture of physical attacks, bullying and sexual harassment at the barracks.

Mrs Collinson said the sweep of their house for bugs was ordered after problems with their phone.

She said: "It came about as a result of strange noises on our telephone line.

Annabelle Ewing
Annabelle Ewing plans to ask questions about the matter

"I think Surrey Police initially thought we were imagining it and getting a bit paranoid until they started to hear it themselves.

"Their advice to me was that if we want to have a discussion that's not for anyone else to hear then we should basically switch the lamp off.

"Someone obviously thinks they have something to gain by listening to what we're up to and I wouldn't like to speculate who it is."

The Collinson's local MP, Annabelle Ewing of the Scottish National Party, said she would be writing to the authorities to try to find out how a bug could have been planted.

Ms Ewing told BBC Scotland: "Well, it's all very strange is it not? A lamp that should or should not be switched on, I think it just represents another deeply disturbing development in what has been a very sorry saga indeed."

Police confirmed the Collinsons' home had been scanned for bugs but insisted no specific equipment was recovered.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Yvonne Collinson
"It came about as a result of strange noises on our telephone line"
Annabel Ewing
"It represents another deeply disturbing development in what has been a very sorry saga indeed"

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07 Dec 02 | England
03 Dec 02 | England
13 Dec 02 | UK
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