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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 July, 2003, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Deepcut soldier faces rape charge
Deepcut barracks
The charges relate to offences said to have happened at Deepcut
A former soldier has been charged with rape and indecent assault on men at an army barracks in Surrey.

Leslie Skinner, 45, from Lincolnshire, has been charged with one count of male rape and five offences of indecent assault on males.

The alleged offences are all said to have happened at the Princess Royal Barracks in Deepcut between 1996 and 1997.

Surrey Police said the charges relate to two alleged victims, aged 17 and 21, who were soldiers at the barracks.

Not connected to deaths

Mr Skinner was charged when he answered bail at Guildford Police Station on Monday, a police spokesman said.

Police say the charges are not connected to the deaths of four recruits at the barracks between 1995 and 2002.

But the spokesman said the allegations came to light as a result of soldiers coming forward with new information during investigations into those deaths.

He said the decision to bring charges against Mr Skinner was taken after consultation between Surrey Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr Skinner, who is no longer a soldier at Deepcut, is due to appear before Guildford Magistrates Court on Tuesday 15 July.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed Mr Skinner left the army in 1998 and said nobody had known about the allegations before, but would nto give any further comment.

The four deaths at the barracks were all attributed to suicide by the army, to the anger of the dead soldiers' parents.

They hired an independent forensic expert to look into the deaths and their protests also led to Surrey Police's investigation's being stepped up.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's June Kelly
"This will lead to renewed calls for an investigation into a 'culture of bullying'"



SEE ALSO:
Report due on Deepcut deaths
26 May 03  |  Wales
Expert 'solves' Deepcut deaths
27 Feb 03  |  England
Call for Deepcut deaths inquiry
04 Feb 03  |  Scotland
Deepcut deaths 'not suicide'
13 Dec 02  |  UK News


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