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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 December, 2004, 20:38 GMT
Deepcut parents address committee
Jim and Yvonne Collinson
Jim and Yvonne Collinson gave evidence to MPs
The mother of a Scottish soldier who died at Deepcut felt "sick" when she heard the extent of the allegations of abuse at the Army base, she said.

The government announced an independent review into more than 100 claims of rape, racism and beatings.

They were uncovered by police looking into the deaths of four soldiers, including James Collinson, from Perth.

His mother Yvonne, who gave evidence to MPs on Wednesday with other parents, is still seeking a public inquiry.

She told BBC Radio Scotland: "I welcome with open arms any kind of review, anything that is going to make things better for the recruits that are still there.

Public inquiry

"But at the end of the day it does not take us any nearer to finding out how our own children died."

She spoke to Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram on Tuesday after he announced the independent review.

Mrs Collinson said that she and her husband Jim had reiterated their view that a full public inquiry was needed into the deaths.

"He told me that he fears it may have a detrimental effect on recruitment figures as he does not want to look into the past," she said.

Many families feel excluded from their loved one's life once they have left home
Jim and Yvonne Collinson
"What's in the past should remain in the past, and he wants to look into the future."

Mrs Collinson said she had experienced some surprise when it emerged that police investigating the four deaths had uncovered more than 100 claims of abuse.

She said she had been aware of a "culture of bullying" at Deepcut, but had not realised the scale of the allegations.

"It really made me feel quite sick when I heard that," she said.

Pte Collinson was aged 17 when he died at the base in March 2002.

Soldier stands guard at Deepcut barracks
The deaths at Deepcut took place between 1995 and 2002
Pte Sean Benton, 20, from Hastings in East Sussex; Pte Cheryl James, 17, of Llangollen, north Wales; and Pte Geoff Gray, 17, from Seaham, County Durham, had earlier died at Deepcut.

The families do not accept that the soldiers' deaths were suicides.

Mr and Mrs Collinson gave evidence to the House of Commons defence committee, which is looking at the treatment of armed forces recruits.

In written evidence, they called for better liaison between the armed services and the families of young new recruits.

"Many families feel excluded from their loved one's life once they have left home," they said.

Speaking to MPs on Wednesday, Mr Collinson rejected the suggestion that his son took his own life.

He said one of his James' friends had told him that the teenager was happy and joking on the night he died.

Families are still calling for a public inquiry

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