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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 August, 2003, 07:25 GMT 08:25 UK
Parents criticise Deepcut police
Cheryl James
Cheryl James died in 1995 of a bullet wound to the head
The parents of one of the four recruits to die at Deepcut Barracks has accused Surrey Police of hypocrisy for criticising an independent investigator.

The Surrey force said on Monday it was "deeply unhappy" with investigator Frank Swann.

The police force accused him of discussing his findings over the soldiers' deaths with the media rather than the official inquiry team.

Surrey Police delayed publication of their own report, saying there were "differences" between Mr Swann's conclusions and those of other forensic experts.

Third party involvement

Des and Doreen James, whose 18-year-old daughter Cheryl, from Llangollen, north Wales, died from a bullet wound to the head at Deepcut, criticised the force on Tuesday for its handling of the affair.

The couple said: "Whilst we are not entirely happy that Mr Swann has given detail of our daughter's death to the press, we do feel Surrey Police's criticism of Mr Swann in this respect is somewhat hypocritical.

"Surrey Police assured us from the outset that they would include Mr Swann's findings in whatever report they issued at the close of their investigation.

"Clearly we understood that to mean that any 'differences' of expert opinion would be reconciled before their report was made public."

Frank Swann
Frank Swann it was "highly unlikely" the recruits shot themselves

Mr and Mrs James also criticised the force for having said - before seeing Mr Swann's report - that it had yet to find evidence of third party involvement in any of the deaths at Deepcut.

Mr Swann said it was "highly unlikely" that many of the fatal bullet wounds sustained by the recruits were self-inflicted.

A team of 30 detectives from Surrey Police spent a year examining the soldiers' deaths at the Surrey barracks.

Private Geoff Gray, 17, from Hackney, east London; Private Sean Benton, 20, from Hastings, East Sussex; Private James Collinson, 17, from Perth, Scotland and Private Cheryl James, 18, from Llangollen, north Wales, died of gunshot injuries at the Deepcut barracks between 1995 and 2002.

The BBC's Richard Watson
"With the army investigating the army at Deepcut, alarming mistakes were made"

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04 Aug 03 |  North East Wales
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29 Jul 03 |  Scotland
Deepcut 'U-turn' welcomed
17 Jul 03 |  Scotland
Expert 'solves' Deepcut deaths
27 Feb 03 |  England

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