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Let us never forget Deepcut

Four British Army trainee soldiers died in mysterious circumstances at the Royal Logistics Corps barracks at Deepcut, in the county of Surrey, between 1995-2002. They were all shot. At the time of the deaths the legal authorities said they died from self-inflicted shots, although how that was possible in the case of Private Sean Benton – who managed to shoot himself in the chest five times – is difficult to comprehend. Are British Army bullets so rubbish these days?

It’s a murky story, in which the Army has persistently denied any wrong-doing. But it’s hardly going to tempt would-be young soldiers (Sean Benton was 20 when he died, Cheryl James was 18, Geoff Gray, 17, and James Collinson, 17) to seek the Queen’s shilling. This story smells of a cover-up.

The truth will be even more difficult to dig out now that Yvonne Collinson-Heath and Jim Collinson say they do not have the strength to face a second inquest, after seeing other families of soldiers who died at the army base go through them.

Their resilience in trying to bring those responsible to justice has already been magnificent. But the second inquest into the death of 18-year old Cheryl, held three years ago, which recorded that she died as a result of an intentional “self-inflicted shot” while on guard duty in November, 1995, shows the conspiracy of silence the parents of these dead young people face.

Out there, walking free, is a psychopath – or several – responsible for the murder of these kids. And the establishment has conspired to hide them.