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Friday, 8 November, 2002, 13:57 GMT
Mother joins Deepcut inquiry call
Deepcut barracks
Police are investigating deaths at Deepcut barracks
The mother of a soldier found shot dead six years ago has joined the families of soldiers who died at the Deepcut barracks to call for a public inquiry.

Elaine Higgins, from Barrow-in-Furness, said she has never accepted a coroner's ruling that her son, Trooper Aled Jones, committed suicide when serving in Bosnia.

She told BBC Radio Cumbria she was struck by how similar the Deepcut cases were to her own son's death - soldiers shot by a single bullet, and found with their rifle lying across their chest.

Ms Higgins accompanied parents of the Deepcut soldiers to London on 29 October where the families lobbied Westminster for a public inquiry into the deaths.


We need to know what happened to our sons and our daughters and I think a public inquiry is the only way forward

Elaine Higgins

She says that with the support she and other families have received a new investigation is almost inevitable.

Ms Higgins failed to persuade an Army Board of Inquiry or the Coroner's inquest that her son had not committed suicide in 1996 whilst serving in Bosnia.

She resumed her campaign earlier this year, when the investigations into the deaths of young soldiers at the Deepcut army barracks in Surrey hit the news, and contacted the parents of Private Geoff Gray.

Public inquiry

Ms Higgins said: "The Deepcut families started the campaign for the four soldiers, then I realised that obviously something was happening more than Deepcut.

"I got in contact with Geoff and Diane Gray, and it all went from there.

"We went down to London last Tuesday... there were 14 families and I believe a further 40 families came forward after that.

"We are all pressing for a public inquiry... we need to know what happened to our sons and our daughters and I think a public inquiry is the only way forward now."

MP support

Ms Higgins said she has received support from her local MP John Hutton and people living in Barrow.

She said she hoped a public inquiry could take place after police investigations into the Deepcut deaths had been completed.

Police are investigating the deaths of Geoff Gray, 17, from County Durham; James Collinson 17, from Perth, Scotland; Cheryl James, 18, from Llangollen, north Wales, and Sean Benton, 20, from Hastings, East Sussex, at the Royal Logistics Corps HQ.


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