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Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
'Bullying caused soldier's suicide'
Entrance to Deepcut barracks
Sean Benton "suffered a campaign of victimisation"
A young private took his own life because he was being bullied, a former soldier has claimed.

Private Sean Benton, 20, from Hastings, Sussex, was found dead in June 1995 with five bullet wounds in the chest at the Deepcut barracks near Camberley, Surrey.

He was one of four soldiers who died from gunshot wounds at the training camp - a formal inquiry into the deaths is now underway following pressure from soldiers' families.

On Thursday Trevor Hunter, 27, now a student in Fife, came forward with claims that vicious verbal attacks and humiliating abuse had caused the young man to commit suicide.


He was an easy target because he had a croaky voice, he spoke his mind and his kit was a mess

Trevor Hunter

Mr Hunter, a recruit to the Royal Logistics Corps alongside Private Benton, said the Army driver suffered a campaign of victimisation, because "his face didn't fit".

He said: "I took Sean under my wing because I could see people were picking on him.

"He was an easy target because he had a croaky voice, he spoke his mind and his kit was a mess."

Four deaths

In July, a House of Commons committee announced there would be a formal inquiry into the deaths of the four young soldiers.

Cheryl James, 17, from Llangollen in north Wales, died in 1995 from a gunshot wound to the head.

Private Geoff Gray, 17, from Seaham in County Durham, died from two gunshot wounds to the head while on guard duty last September.

Private James Collinson, 17, from Perth, was found dead with a single gunshot wound while on guard duty at the barracks in March this year.

The Army say the deaths, which all occurred in separate incidents were suicides but the families have never accepted this.


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See also:

04 Jul 02 | England
11 Jun 02 | England
21 May 02 | Scotland
30 Apr 02 | England
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