Deepcut mum demands police files be opened

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THE parents of a soldier found dead from a gunshot wound at his army base will seek access to police files after another family was granted permission following a similar tragedy.

Geoff and Diane Gray have been campaigning for a public inquiry into the death of their Seaham-born son Geoff, 17, whose body was found at the Deepcut Barracks in September 2001.

Geoff Gray celebrating New Year

Geoff Gray celebrating New Year

The couple will contact the loved ones of James Collinson, also 17, who was found dead from a gunshot wound at the same camp in March 2002.

The families of both men, along with those of Cheryl James, 18, and Sean Benton, 20, who were also found in similar circumstances, believe the deaths were suspicious and there was a cover-up into what happened.

An inquest into Pte Benton’s death found he had committed suicide, but the others recorded open verdicts.

Pte Collinson’s family has been told by Surrey Police they can now see the files into his death, although the investigation will not be reopened unless new evidence comes to light.

A review of the force was carried out by Devon and Cornwall after Surrey called on it to carry out a probe into its own investigations.

Yvonne Collison, James’s mother, is publishing a book, A Mother’s War: One Woman’s Fight for the Truth Behind Her Son’s Death at Deepcut, which she hopes will prompt the public inquiry the families want.

Diane, 48, who lives with her 49-year-old husband and their son Adam, 21, said: “This will help them find out a lot of things from the files, because Devon and Cornwall found out things we didn’t find out, but then they couldn’t say why.

“We asked Devon and Cornwall for access to that material, but we didn’t get it. We need this public inquiry because there is a lot which has been put under the carpet.”

She added that Surrey had previously offered her and Geoff a chance to look at the files, but said they would only be allowed access alone, so could not take along legal representation for support and advice, and could not take notes.