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Monday, 2 December, 2002, 10:32 GMT
Deepcut expose raises more cases
Army Barracks
Some Deepcut recruits have been moved to speak out
The father of a North East soldier found dead at Deepcut Barracks has renewed his call for a public inquiry after a television investigation into the camp.

A BBC Panorama programme, broadcast on Sunday, heard from former soldiers at the base who claimed recruits suffered physical attacks, bullying and sexual harassment.

The programme investigated Deepcut in the wake of fresh inquiries into the deaths of four young soldiers - initially the authorities said the soldiers had taken their own lives, but that is now being re-examined.

It also suggested that what the military described as five further suicide attempts were made by young recruits at the barracks.

Private Geoff Gray
Private Gray had two bullet wounds

Confidential Army records revealed that the suicide attempts occurred at Deepcut between June and November 1995, according to the programme.

Geoff Gray Snr, the father of one of the soldiers, 17-year-old Geoff Gray, from Seaham, County Durham, said: "We need a public inquiry. It must happen.

"There's far too many cases of harassment at Deepcut."

Geoff Gray was found dead at Deepcut Barracks, in Surrey, on 16 September 2001.

Despite having two bullet wounds to his head, the Ministry of Defence concluded Private Gray had taken his own life - a claim his parents reject.


He was shot twice in the head. He did not commit suicide

Geoff Gray
Soldier's father

Mr Gray welcomed the programmes but criticised an expert on the broadcast for raising the possibility that his son committed suicide.

Mr Gray said: "He was shot twice in the head. He did not commit suicide.

"I feel as if the details were portrayed as if my son could have committed suicide."

Private Gray was found lying near the perimeter fence at the base with two gunshot wounds to his head.

Open verdict

His SA80 rifle, which is capable of firing single and automatic rounds, was found at his side.

An early MoD investigation concluded Private Gray took his own life, but a coroner later recorded an open verdict.

A ballistics expert has since said that if the soldier had shot himself with the rifle on automatic he would have at least four bullet wounds.

Surrey Police are currently investigating the deaths of Private Gray, and 17-year-old James Collinson, from Perth, Scotland, who died in September.

'Allegations investigated'

They are also probing the deaths in 1995 of Cheryl James, 18, from Llangollen, north Wales, and Sean Benton, 20, from Hastings, East Sussex.

The five attempted suicides revealed by Panorama fell between their deaths.

An Army spokesman said they did not think there was a problem with bullying on a large scale at the camp.

And a spokesman for the MoD said: "If people have allegations they will be investigated and action could be taken where it is deemed necessary."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Former Lance Corporal Terri Lewis
"The bullying at Deepcut was rife"


Background


See also:

01 Dec 02 | Panorama
07 Nov 02 | England
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