Deepcut barracks deaths: Coroner to deliver verdict in Private Sean Benton inquest 23 years after his death

17 July 2018

A Coroner will tomorrow deliver his verdict in a fresh inquest into the death of young army recruit Private Sean Benton, who was found dead at Deepcut barracks in 1995.

His Honour Judge Peter Rook QC will set out his conclusions at Woking Coroner’s Court from 11am. The wide-ranging investigation – which began in January – has considered how Sean died and the wider environment in which he lived at the Surrey camp, and heard evidence from 168 witnesses.

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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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Second Deepcut inquest a step closer as Attorney General sends case of Private Sean Benton back to High Court

14 June 2016

The Attorney General has given consent for the family of Private Sean Benton – who died at Deepcut barracks 21 years ago – to apply to the High Court for a fresh inquest into the circumstances around his death.

Liberty, acting on behalf of Pte Benton’s twin brother Tony Benton and sister Tracy Lewis, lodged a formal application with the Attorney General on 8 July 2015 requesting that the original inquest of July 1995 be quashed and a fresh one ordered. 

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Inquest into death of Cheryl James at Deepcut Barracks to begin

01 February 2016

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

The inquest will be overseen by His Honour Judge Brian Barker QC CBE. It is expected to last for at least seven weeks and hear evidence from more than 100 witnesses.

Cheryl was 18 and undergoing initial training at Deepcut in Surrey when she was found dead with a bullet wound to her face on 27 November 1995. 

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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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Inquest into death of Cheryl James to take place in February

20 May 2015

The inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James – who died at Deepcut Barracks in 1995 – will go ahead early next year, a Coroner has ruled.

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