Deepcut deaths: Fresh inquest into death of Private Sean Benton to begin

24 January 2018

A fresh inquest into the death of Private Sean Benton – who was found dead at Deepcut barracks in 1995 – will begin at Woking Coroner’s Court today. 

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Two decades after Sean Benton died, let's hope 2018 brings the answers his family deserve

For Sean’s family, for those who served at Deepcut barracks, for everyone who wants people who fight for their country to be treated with the respect they deserve, we hope the new Coroner can finally uncover the truth about what happened to Sean Benton.

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Government to scrap archaic loophole that lets Armed Forces Commanding Officers investigate sexual assaults themselves

13 December 2017

The Government has quietly announced a major change to the law that will stop Commanding Officers in the Armed Forces investigating soldiers’ allegations of sexual assault themselves – but they still won’t have to refer complaints to civilian police.

The proposed changes to the Armed Forces Act 2006 come after years of campaigning by soldiers, bereaved families and Liberty – and after Liberty threatened the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with legal action on behalf of a serving soldier if it failed to close the loophole.

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Private Sean Benton inquest WILL examine evidence of bullying at Deepcut barracks

20 September 2017

A coroner has today ruled that the fresh inquest into the death of Private Sean Benton in 1995 will examine wider allegations of bullying and abuse at Deepcut barracks.

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Bereaved families, victims and Liberty call for Deepcut public inquiry

20 June 2016

Liberty has written to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to request a public inquiry into physical and sexual abuse at the Surrey barracks.

The call comes in the wake of the inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James – who died at Deepcut in 1995 – which exposed to public scrutiny the toxic, violent and sexualised environment in which Cheryl and other young soldiers lived.

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The Armed Forces Bill is a chance to give our troops the justice system they deserve

It goes without saying: the rights of servicemen and women are just as deserving of protection as those of civilians. But – until our flawed military justice system is reformed – we will continue to deny our troops some of those vital protections.

In the UK, an Armed Forces Act must be passed every five years – and the latest Bill is on its way through Parliament as we speak.

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Appeal for information regarding the death of Cheryl James

11 September 2015

If you have any information about the death of Cheryl James, please email militaryjustice@liberty-human-rights.org.ukThis information will be passed on to the Coroner.

The Coroner has given an assurance that anyone who does wish to give evidence about this death would be highly unlikely to be prevented from doing so by the Official Secrets Act.

Below is the full statement read by Cheryl's father Des James following yesterday's Pre-Inquest Review at Surrey Coroner's Court:

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Cheryl James - crucial decisions expected at pre-inquest review

19 May 2015

Today at Woking Coroner’s Court, critical decisions are expected to be made about the forthcoming inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James – who died at Deepcut Barracks in 1995. 

The Coroner will rule on Surrey Police’s request that Pte James’ inquest should be heard alongside inquests into the deaths of the other three young soldiers who died there. However fresh inquests have yet to be ordered into the deaths of Sean Benton, James Collinson and Geoff Gray. This would mean Cheryl’s inquest would be delayed, probably by years.

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