BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 19:35 GMT 20:35 UK
Police investigate soldiers' deaths
Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut
The soldiers died at the Princess Royal Barracks
The deaths of two teenage soldiers at the same army barracks are being investigated by police.

Private James Collinson was discovered dead from a single gunshot wound at the Surrey barracks on 23 March.

His death came after Geoff Gray, another private, also died at the Royal Logistics Corps HQ at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, after suffering two gunshot wounds to the head.

Private Gray's parents say they believe he was murdered on 17 September last year, despite an open verdict being recorded at an inquest.

Private Geoff Gray
Private Geoff Gray was on guard duty when he died

Geoff and Diane Gray from Hackney, east London, said they still want an independent inquiry into the handling of their son's death by the army and the police.

They have continually campaigned for a further inquiry and earlier in April took their fight to parliament by writing to every MP.

Mr Gray said: "We are very pleased that it is going to be investigated but disappointed we had to go down this road since March to try and get something done.

"We believe our son was murdered. The inquest said he didn't commit suicide and medical evidence proved he could not have killed himself.

Shots heard

"The Surrey Police investigation is good and we are getting a positive and compassionate attitude from them but we still want an independent public inquiry into this case."

No inquest into Private Collinson's death has yet been heard.

During an inquest into Private Gray's death, Woking coroner Michael Burgess heard soldiers sent to look for Private Gray reported hearing three shots.

They also spoke of seeing someone running away from the scene.

Geoff Gray, Private Gray's father, outside the Houses of Parliament
Private Gray's father has petitioned MPs
Private Gray had been guarding the officers' mess compound at the barracks.

The same team of detectives, led by Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton will look at both deaths.

A Surrey Police spokesperson said: "New to both inquiries, Detective Chief Inspector Sutton will bring a completely open mind to the process.

"Both families are being kept informed and the Army is co-operating fully."

Mr and Mrs Gray are due to meet junior defence minister Lewis Moonie on 15 May to discuss what happened to their son.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said an inquiry into the two deaths has been suspended pending the outcome of the new investigation.

Click here for more from Southern Counties
See also:

27 Mar 02 | England
Inquiry into soldiers' deaths
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories