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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
'No surprise' for Deepcut father
Private Cheryl James
Private Cheryl James' father wanted a public inquiry into her death
The father of a north Wales soldier who died at Deepcut army barracks says he is not surprised there will be no public inquiry into her death.

Des James' daughter, Cheryl, 18, from Llangollen, north Wales, was one of four recruits who died from gunshots.

On Monday, Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram said he was "not persuaded" by calls for a public inquiry.

Instead an extra 23m will be provided to improve care and welfare within the Armed Forces.

The Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) will also conduct an independent inspection of the Armed Forces training establishments, including Deepcut.

What the Government wants us to believe is that they know what the issues are without an inquiry
Des James

The recruits aged 17 to 20 died at Deepcut Barracks between 1995 and 2002. Their deaths were recorded as suicide.

Mr James, who now lives in Llanymynech, Powys, said he never believed that the Government would order a public inquiry.

However, he has not ruled out the possibility of a judicial review into the decision.

Mr James told BBC Radio Wales: "I'm no angrier than I was six months ago, there's no surprise here for me, I never believed they'd have a public inquiry.

"What the Government wants us to believe is that they know what the issues are without an inquiry.

"Until we've looked thoroughly at what happened we cannot possibly know what the issues are," he added.

Private Cheryl James was found dead with a single bullet wound to her head at the barracks in November 1995.

The three other soldiers to die at the Royal Logistics Corps HQ were Geoff Gray, 17, from Durham, Sean Benton, 20, from Hastings, East Sussex, and James Collinson, 17, from Perth.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Lembit Opik, has warned the Government that it could be forced to hold an independent inquiry into the deaths.

He criticised the decision not to hold a public inquiry into the deaths and said the Government could be forced by a court to hold one.


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