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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006, 15:00 GMT
Deepcut soldier 'jilted by lover'
Private James Collinson
Pte James Collinson died from a single gunshot wound
A soldier found shot dead at Deepcut barracks in Surrey had been rebuffed by an ex-girlfriend less than two weeks before his death, an inquest has heard.

Pte James Collinson, 17, of Perth, had been having a relationship with another private, Sabrina Baird - now a lance corporal - after they met in late 2002.

She told the court he became "clingy" before the pair split in 2003.

The hearing follows inquests into the deaths of three other Deepcut soldiers, from Sussex, Wales and County Durham.

He still wanted us to be a couple because he thought he still loved me
L/Cpl Sabrina Baird

On Thursday, Epsom Magistrates' Court heard that after the split Pte Collinson quickly took up with another recruit, Kelly Walker, also now a lance corporal.

L/Cpl Walker was among the last people to speak to Pte Collinson on the night of his death.

She said he went off for his final guard duty with plans to meet later that evening as he wanted to tell her something.

The court heard that about a week and a half after he split from L/Cpl Baird, she told him that she just wanted to remain friends.

"He told me that he didn't want to be friends. He still wanted us to be a couple because he thought he still loved me and that he would rather we weren't friends, we were more than friends, and that is not what I wanted," she said.

'Picked on'

L/Cpl Walker also told the court she knew that Pte Collinson did not like Deepcut.

"There are a number of petty punishments imposed for seemingly trivial breaches of discipline, another reason is that you never know how long you are going to be posted there for."

She told the court she had felt "picked on" at Deepcut by a particular sergeant major.

"If your face didn't fit she would make your life a misery," she said.

But asked if she knew whether or not Pte Collinson had been picked on, she replied: "No, his face fitted, sir."

Pte Collinson's father Jim, who was also in court, told the hearing that he had been given the impression that fellow soldiers were being "kept away" from the family at his son's funeral.

When asked if senior officers seemed to be intimidating them into keeping their mouths shut, Mr Collinson replied: "That's the impression I got, yes."

The hearing continues.




SEE ALSO:
Soldier 'had personal problems'
28 Feb 06 |  England
Deepcut death 'accounts altered'
21 Feb 06 |  England
Shot soldier 'talked of suicide'
20 Feb 06 |  England


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