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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 August, 2003, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Timeline: Deaths at Deepcut
Deepcut barracks
The Army says the Deepcut deaths were suicide
Surrey Police have delayed the release of their findings into the deaths of four young soldiers who died at Deepcut barracks, after seeing a report by a forensics expert hired by the soldiers' families.

BBC News Online details the key events in the case:

June 1995 - Private Sean Benton, of Hastings, East Sussex, is found dead at the Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, with five bullet wounds to his chest. Despite ballistics tests suggesting only one bullet was fired from close range and the others from a distance, the Army says he had committed suicide.

Private Sean Benton
Private Sean Benton was found with five bullet wounds to the chest

November 1995 - Private Cheryl James, 18, of Llangollen, Gwent, is found dead with a single bullet wound to her head at the barracks - headquarters of the Royal Logistical Corps. An Army inquiry concludes she had committed suicide. Surrey Police say they are not looking for anyone else but a coroner records an open verdict.

September 2001 - Private Geoff Gray, 17, from Hackney, east London, is found with two gunshot wounds to his head while on guard duty. Five shots had been fired and the other three bullets are not been found. A coroner records an open verdict after hearing that a figure was seen running away from the area.

23 March, 2002 - Private James Collinson, 17, from Perth, is found dead with a single gunshot wound upwards through his chin while on guard duty at the barracks. The Army says he killed himself, but his parents do not accept this, insisting he had been happy. No inquest is held.

Private Cheryl James
Private Cheryl James died from a single bullet wound to the head

30 April - Surrey Police open an investigation into the deaths of Pte Gray and Pte Collinson after campaigning by the families.

10 June - The families of all four soldiers called for a public inquiry into their deaths.

4 July - The Commons Defence Select Committee announces it will investigate the deaths when the police inquiry ends. The parents of Cheryl James claim she had been forced into a sexual relationship with a corporal.

5 July - Surrey Police confirm they are also investigating the deaths of Pte James and Pte Benton.

25 July - The Army admits it had destroyed some of the bloodied uniforms of soldiers.

Private Geoff Gray
Private Gray was found with two gunshot wounds to the head

26 July - Kevin McNamara, Labour MP for Hull North, calls for a public inquiry.

2 October - An independent ballistics expert in a BBC documentary concludes it would have been impossible for Pte Gray to have killed himself.

24 October - Police take charge of investigations into all untimely deaths of soldiers under new rules prompted by the deaths at the Deepcut base.

29 November - Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram gives the go-ahead for investigator Frank Swann to enter the barracks.

3 December - An Army sergeant accused of bullying and intimidation at Deepcut barracks dismisses the claims.

7 December - A female recruit says she was the victim of a series of sexual assaults and then raped by a corporal at Deepcut.

Private James Collinson
Private James Collinson was 17 when he died

13 January 2003 - Forensics expert Frank Swann begins his investigation at the base.

17 February - Amnesty International backs calls for a public inquiry into the four deaths.

7 March - Detectives investigating the deaths say there is no evidence so far that any third party had been involved.

8 May - The families of two of the dead soldiers held a silent protest during a visit by the Princess Royal.

2 August - Surrey Police postpone releasing their findings after reading Frank Swann's submission which cast doubt on the Army's version of events.




SEE ALSO:
Deepcut deaths 'not murder'
29 Jul 03  |  Scotland
Who polices the army?
29 Oct 02  |  UK News


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