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Tuesday, 21 May, 2002, 19:36 GMT 20:36 UK
Parents demand 'suicides' inquiry
Guard post
Both privates had been on guard duty
The parents of two soldiers who were found shot dead at a British Army barracks have called for a public inquiry into the deaths.

The families of private James Collinson and Geoff Gray told BBC Scotland's Frontline Scotland programme that they believe their sons were murdered at the Deepcut barracks, in Surrey.

Private Collinson, from Perth, was found dead from a single gunshot wound at the barracks on 23 March.

Private Collinson
Private Collinson had been in upbeat mood
His death followed that of Private Gray at the Royal Logistics Corps HQ at Princess Royal Barracks on 17 September.

The soldier died from two gunshot wounds to the head.

Both soldiers had been on guard duty when the incidents happened.

Surrey Police announced last month that the two deaths were being investigated and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said inquiries into the deaths have been suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation.

Private Collinson's parents, Jim and Yvonne, said they cannot believe that their son took his own life.

Those sentiments have been shared by Private Gray's parents Geoff and Diane, from Hackney, east London, and by the patrents of privates Sean Benton and Cheryl James, who both died at the barracks in 1995.


My gut feeling is that someone did murder my son and I'm afraid that until Surrey Police or the MoD come up with other answers that would be the answer at the present moment

Jim Collinson
The Army has treated the deaths as suicide but Mr Collinson said that when he last spoke to his son he was in good spirits and had shown no indication that he would take his own life.

He said: "My gut feeling is that someone did murder my son and I'm afraid that until Surrey Police or the MoD come up with other answers that would be the answer at the present moment."

The inquest into Private Collinson's death has yet to be held.

An open verdict was recorded on Private Gray's death at an inquest.

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.

Private Geoff Gray
Private Gray had two gunshot wounds
The parents complained that no ballistic tests were carried out on the weapon beside their son's body and there were allegations that the body had been moved.

Labour MP and former Commons defence committee member, Kevin McNamara, said: "I'm very concerned about what happened.

"The number of incidents should raise red flags all over the range as far as the Army is concerned.

"There ought to be a public inquiry into the deaths at Deepcut."

New witnesses

On Tuesday, Surrey Police released some details about its investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton, who is in charge of the investigation, said officers were looking at the gun Private Gray was carrying at the time of his death.

He said his team had also taken statements from a number of new witnesses.

He said: "I am very conscious of the concerns of the families involved in these two tragic incidents.

"For this reason, and most unusually, I am happy to indicate the areas into which the inquiry is moving.

"It is however far too early to reach any conclusions and I still retain an open mind.

"The gun has been submitted to a ballistics expert and it will be hoped that some crucial answers will be obtained."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Ross McWilliam
"The Collinsons believe their son was murdered"

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See also:

21 May 02 | Scotland
27 Mar 02 | England
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