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Deepcut Serial Sentry Slotter
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PostPosted: 02-10-2003 05:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

The simplest explanation of all is that, when he realised that he'd buggered up his career and embarrassed himself in front of his peers by getting caught giving unauthorised press briefings, he took the "cowards" way out.

Not a popular view I know, but surely the most likely.
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PostPosted: 02-10-2003 11:58    Post subject: Unhealthy to whom? Reply with quote

Just why would it be unhealthy to let people speak the truth about matters that have been justified by national security and hidden behind gagging laws? The only threat would be to power in the revealing of its methods and history. We are at a unique point in human history and we need to carry out some unique actions if we can hope to have a future.
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PostPosted: 02-10-2003 16:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a lot of things that need to be hidden from the Great Unwashed. That is what the Official Secrets Act is for. It's for the good of the country. The 'conspiracies' that people hear bout are such a small part of what the Act is for that they are hardly worth endangering lives over just because the public are nosey.
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PostPosted: 02-10-2003 16:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inverurie Jones wrote:

There are a lot of things that need to be hidden from the Great Unwashed. That is what the Official Secrets Act is for. It's for the good of the country. The 'conspiracies' that people hear bout are such a small part of what the Act is for that they are hardly worth endangering lives over just because the public are nosey.

I agree to a point but the OSA shouldn't be like a blanket. Until a few years ago everything that happened in certain circles was automatically covered by the Act (the classic being M.O.D. stationary orders) . It should be the case that things must be explicitly covered, opted-in if you like, instead of the contrary. I know there were proposals along these lines floating around a few years back. Did they come to fruition? Anyone?
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PostPosted: 23-05-2004 00:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minister to respond over Deepcut

The government is to respond on Monday to a report into the deaths of four young soldiers at Deepcut Barracks.
Surrey Police's critical report called for a broader inquiry into bullying in the Army and care of young soldiers.

Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram delayed the response a week ago so MPs could discuss allegations that British soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners.

Relatives want a public inquiry into the Deepcut recruits' deaths - all from gunshots between 1995 and 2002.

But Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has ruled one out, because there have already been various investigations - including Surrey Police's 15-month inquiry.

The Ministry of Defence will not discuss what Mr Ingram is likely to say, or whether he will agree to calls for an independent public inquiry.
The families of Sean Benton, 20, Cheryl James,18, Geoff Gray, 17, and James Collinson, 17, do not accept the official explanation that they killed themselves.

Mr Gray's father, also called Geoff, is angry the statement will be made just hours after he meets with Mr Ingram.

He said: "I have been asking for this meeting for more than a year and I am not so much disappointed as angry that we are not allowed to put our case forward."

The Surrey Police investigation reported repeated examples of bullying, and a failure to learn past lessons at Deepcut.

The force's report called for a "broader inquiry" by the government into the way the Army cares for its young soldiers.

A committee of MPs is to investigate the "duty of care" regime across all three armed services towards recruits, but will not look at the individual Deepcut deaths.

The response will be made in the House of Commons at about 1530 BST on Monday.
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PostPosted: 23-05-2004 01:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Min Bannister wrote:

I don't think it is a lone person either. I am ex-army and I knew before I joined (a few years ago) that there was no way in hell I would ever join the logistics corps. Any bad story I ever read in the papers be it bullying/rape etc it was always the Logistics corps. As soon as someone gets a banana on their sleeve, they turn into a control freak. The fact that there is a constant turnover of people would only perpetuate something that probably started decades ago. "This is how we do things here" "Oh okay then" and so it goes on.

If this was a lone person, then there would have been a proper investigation when the bodies were found, why wouldn't there have been?
Would YOU like the world to think the people YOU were in charge of were commiting suicide when they weren't?

There is something extremely rotten there and it is going to be very difficult, if not impossible to find out what happened.

I was in the RLC, albeit, the RCT when i joined i have to say i was never subject to, nor did i take part in any bullying or "excessive horseplay" (i was always too pissed)...i did hear of the odd abuse story, but most are Military "urban" myths...also i trained in Aldershot "buller barracks" so i couldn't comment on the conditions at Deepcut...i can however say the army is not for everyone, especially the training. A highly fatigued , depressed/confused and home sick teenager ..last thing you should do is give them a rifle and live rounds.......still it' s all very dodgy and the MOD are reknowned for their cover ups:confused:
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PostPosted: 08-09-2004 10:21    Post subject: At last some answers on Deepcut Reply with quote

Deepcut coach admits sex attacks

A former training instructor at the controversial Deepcut Army barracks in Surrey has pleaded guilty to five sex attacks on young male soldiers.

Leslie Skinner, 46, of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, changed his plea as his trial began at Kingston Crown Court.

Skinner pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault on four male soldiers between 1992 and 1997.

Judge Charles Tilling ordered four counts of indecent assault and one of male rape to lie on the file.

'Vulnerable young men'

His victims were aged between 17 and 21.

Before the jurors were discharged, prosecutor Sally Howes QC told them Skinner had "taken advantage of vulnerable young men".

Skinner, who is no longer in the Army, was a lance corporal and training instructor when he served at Deepcut with the Royal Logistics Corp.

He was sent to Deepcut after being convicted by a court martial for indecently exposing himself in a car park in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

The Ministry of Defence said in a statement after Tuesday's case that procedures had since been changed to ensure those convicted of similar offences are not posted to training establishments.

Position of authority

Miss Howes recounted a catalogue of incidents, including one in which a victim awoke after a night's drinking to find the defendant performing a sex act upon him.

She told the court that the victims had felt obliged to participate in sexual activity initiated by Skinner because he, having been a warrant officer, although later demoted to private, was in a position of authority over them.

Of one victim she said: "At no stage did he think of leaving because the consequences of disobeying an order were far greater."

Of another she said: "He said nothing for fear of being described as a homosexual because that, of course, would have been a difficulty in the armed forces in those days."

The court heard that the police investigation started when one of Skinner's victims watched a discussion on the BBC's Kilroy programme which prompted him to speak about the abuse for the first time.

Although Judge Tilling said that a custodial sentence would be "pretty much inevitable", he released Skinner on conditional bail and ordered him to return to Kingston Crown Court on October 22 for sentencing.

Story from BBC NEWS:

What a disgusting git.
He deserves to be locked up for a bloody long time.
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PostPosted: 22-10-2004 21:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBC News Online: Deepcut Army sex attacker jailed
22 October, 2004

[B]A former training instructor at Deepcut Army barracks in Surrey has been jailed for four-and-a-half years for sex attacks on young male soldiers.

Leslie Skinner, 46, of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty at Kingston Crown Court last month.

Skinner, who served with the Royal Logistics Corps, admitted five indecent assaults between 1992 and 1997 on four male soldiers.

Deepcut features in the ongoing row over the deaths of four recruits.

'Vulnerable young men'

The Army maintains the recruits all committed suicide, but their families have demanded a public inquiry.

The separate police inquiry into Skinner's crimes began when one of his victims watched a discussion on the BBC's Kilroy programme which prompted him to speak about the abuse for the first time.

The Army then placed you in a position where you were in contact with and had influence over young recruits
Judge Charles Tilling
Skinner's victims were aged between 17 and 21. Three victims were at Deepcut while the fourth victim was at Arnhem Barracks in Aldershot.

Skinner, who kept canes and a riding crop in his locker which he used for sexual kicks, had been due to stand trial at Kingston Crown Court in September facing nine charges of indecent assault and one of male rape.

But he changed his plea and admitted five counts of indecent assault. The outstanding charges were quashed by the judge on Friday.

The married father of two, who is no longer in the Army, was a training instructor when he served at Deepcut with the Royal Logistics Corps.

He was sent to Deepcut and reduced to the rank of private after being convicted by a court martial for indecently exposing himself in a car park in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

'Swept under carpet'

Judge Charles Tilling told Skinner on Friday: "For some reason best known to itself the Army then placed you in a position where you were in contact with and had influence over young recruits.

"Far from heeding the warning that your reduction in rank should have given you, you proceeded to indecently assault another three young vulnerable soldiers."

The court heard that following the incidents for which he was sentenced on Friday he was also court martialled for a further indecent assault and jailed for six months before being discharged from the Army.

Outside court on Friday, the victim of that further assault said: "After being court martialled and demoted he should never have been put in a place of authority and a training regiment with young men and women."

'Sexual predator'

Diane Gray, the mother of Geoff Gray, 17, from Durham, one of the four recruits who died at Deepcut, said outside court on Friday that the Army needed to make changes.

"The Army knew what was going on with Skinner and it was all swept under the carpet," she said.

"Public confidence needs to be restored."

This guy was take on as a PE instructor at Deepcut, after he had been courtmartialled and demoted to private, for exposing himself to a car park attendant.

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PostPosted: 20-02-2006 07:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Final Deepcut inquest is resumed

The inquest into the death of the last of four soldiers found with gunshot wounds at the Deepcut army barracks in Surrey is being formally resumed.
Pte James Collinson, 17, from Perth in Scotland, was found dead on 23 March, 2002, nearly seven years after the first of the four deaths.

An inquest was opened and adjourned but has since been delayed for four years due to long-running police inquiries.

It will be resumed for around eight days at Epsom Magistrates' Court.

The inquest is being heard by a jury under the direction of the Surrey Coroner, Mr Michael Burgess.

They will hear evidence from members of Pte Collinson's family, the armed forces, the police and forensic experts.

Mr Burgess also handled the inquests into the other three deaths - Pte Sean Benton, from Hastings in East Sussex, Pte Cheryl James, from Llangollen in north Wales, and Pte Geoff Gray, from Seaham in County Durham.

The findings of an independent review into the deaths, which occurred between June 1995 and November 2002, are expected to be published by Nicholas Blake QC sometime after the final inquest.

Surrey Police's own investigation was criticised in a review by Devon and Cornwall Police.

The families of all four dead soldiers continue to demand a full public inquiry.
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PostPosted: 29-08-2008 14:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tubby media-twonk, Mark Lawson, usually happiest when vapouring about soap-opera and reality tv, has been impressed by a play about the soldier-suicides of Deep Cut. He suggests that the delivery of a huge report "hobbled reporters". He mentions rage and guilt. I had not thought investigative journalism was quite his métier but it all conjures up a picture of the unwrapped doorstep-sized report sitting on his table while he busied himself explaining the finer points of Big Brother to Grauniad-readers. What he says about turning the page is all too true but I suspect another feeling limited the public's interest in the case: we tend to take it for granted that an army barracks will be a place where ritual humiliation, sexual bullying and psychological torture are the norm. Anyway, it may be worth giving this old thread a new airing.

Guardian Article

Never before have I been so moved, or enraged, by a play

I came out of Deep Cut feeling rage and guilt. It points to a failure of journalism, and demands a government response

Mark Lawson

The Guardian,

Friday August 29 2008

Theatre can produce many reactions: grief, enjoyment, amusement, boredom, back pain. But last week, for the first time in 30 years of ticket stubs, I came out of a playhouse feeling rage and guilt, and wanting to march to Downing Street to demand an answer.

The play, a production by the Sherman Cymru company touring to the Traverse in Edinburgh, was Deep Cut, an investigation into the deaths from gunshot wounds of four British army privates at Deepcut barracks in Surrey between 1995 and 2002. If you yawningly think you know this story and are tempted to turn the page, the point of this piece is that I am no longer sure that we do know, and turning pages may have kept killers from justice.

Philip Ralph's script was inspired by the campaign of doubt run by the parents of Private Cheryl James, whose body was found beside her gun. Her death - like those in similar circumstances of Ptes Benton, Gray and Collinson - was attributed to suicide.

The play rigorously and shockingly makes the case that all were cases of murder or, at the least, manslaughter. Verbatim evidence from a ballistics expert, Frank Swann, about the positioning of wounds and blood shows it is extremely unlikely that any of the soldiers could have fired on themselves. It is also alleged that initial police investigations were inadequate, and evidence of a culture of sex, drinking and bullying among recruits was given insufficient weight by Nicholas Blake QC, who chaired an internal inquiry.

There is a small group of dramas and documentaries that changed British society: Cathy Come Home radicalised attitudes to the homeless; Who Bombed Birmingham? helped to free innocent men from jail; and Police reshaped treatment of rape victims. If its allegations are accurate, Deep Cut is an equally important piece, and demands a response from the authorities.

I mentioned feeling guilt as well as anger, and I mean the remorse at having failed to engage with a story that, in its theatrical presentation, seems a large-scale scandal. The only exoneration is that what is being claimed seems so improbable. Either a serial killer was on the loose for seven years in the army, or the base was so out of control that a succession of situations - fuelled by lust, drunkenness or bullying - ended with soldiers shooting colleagues. If the play has a weakness, it's that in only one case is a plausible motive (sexual betrayal) advanced for murder.

Even so, it would be impossible for a fair-minded person to leave the theatre believing that these four young people took their own lives. The question that arises - and the source of my self-reproach - is why a story that seemed so ambiguous and easy to dismiss when presented as journalism should seem so clear cut on stage.

Part of the answer is that we are captive and focused in the auditorium, free from the temptation to flick channels or pages. But the play also offers two other explanations for the story's failure to spark the radar of public alarm. The first is that Blake's investigation, though in some ways deliberately restricted by the terms of inquiry, was also inadvertently limited. Swann refused to appear because he believed that the tribunal was predisposed to find for suicide - although his absence made such a finding more likely. Internal investigations into army and police conduct were also omitted from the Blake papers.

However, the journalist Brian Cathcart - a source for, and a character in, the play - has argued that this story was a failure of journalism. He suggests that a tactic employed by the Ministry of Defence (releasing a huge report too close to deadlines to allow informed coverage when interest was at its height) successfully hobbled reporters.

Because of this - and Swann's refusal to give evidence to Blake - no newspaper or news bulletin has ever carried the powerful distillation of the major points that Ralph makes available in the play. But if Cathcart is right, then this failure of journalism has now been exacerbated because a small-scale theatre production may just have done a Woodward and Bernstein.

Clearly, it's important to accept that Ralph's script is only the case for the prosecution; and that, in any proceedings, other forensic experts might, for example, disagree with Swann. (There are suggestions in the play that he is a passionate maverick who might be rich pickings for a scowling counsel.)

But, with regard to the material presented on stage, there are only two possibilities: either Deep Cut is a clever but mendacious exercise in selection of evidence and special pleading; or it has exposed a grave failure of policing and state regulation, involving a cover-up of four murders.

As to what should happen next, there exists no legal mechanism for compelling someone to attend a theatrical performance, but it seems to me that Nicholas Blake has a moral duty to watch the play and then issue either a writ for defamation or a statement on whether he has changed his mind. The secretary of state for defence should be cajoled into the audience, and then explain why he sees no case for an independent public inquiry.

Deep Cut has already had enthusiastic notices, which are deeply merited. But what this production most deserves is a judicial review.
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PostPosted: 29-08-2008 15:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Mark Lawson, but you're right. Perhaps he should watch a bit more Panorama and its ilk and then maybe he would have been, like some of us, outraged years ago.
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PostPosted: 23-09-2008 14:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

This guy was in my year at school.

Something very wrong going on...
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PostPosted: 29-12-2013 22:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Deepcut mystery refuses to go away.

Mario Clarke shooting: My husband was assassinated, says widow of Deepcut recruit

Independent on Sunday. Jonathan Owen. 29 December 2013

Christmas brought back unbearable memories for Deveen Clarke, for last week marked the anniversary of her husband Mario’s shooting – a killing which remains unsolved to this day.

She was a trainee nurse who had married her soldier sweetheart just months earlier. The couple had left their native Jamaica to settle in Britain and were living in London. Mario was on two weeks’ leave from the Army and had spent Boxing Day 2002 visiting friends and family.

The couple were going to go out that evening and the 25-year-old soldier was sitting in his car outside their home in Hackney, east London, chatting to his brother and cousin. A man approached the car, shot him once in the heart through the window, and vanished. Despite a £10,000 reward offered by police, the killer was never caught.

Mario had been posted to Deepcut barracks in Camberley a few months earlier and was halfway through a training course. He had complained to his wife of problems he was having there. More disturbingly, he said he did not believe that the deaths of four trainee soldiers, found shot at Deepcut between 1995 and 2002 amid allegations of a culture of bullying, were suicides.

Within months of Mario’s death, Home Office officials began attempts to deport his widow to Jamaica. She was later refused a visa to return for the inquest into her husband’s murder, which was held in 2004, but still hopes that one day she will find out who killed her husband, and why.

A recent application to the Attorney General by the human rights charity Liberty for the inquest into the death of one of the Deepcut recruits to be reopened has reawakened painful memories for her. In her first interview in a decade, Mrs Clarke told The Independent that Mario had called her from Deepcut earlier that year and confided in her about his concerns over the deaths at the barracks: “He was saying that he knew they didn’t commit suicide. I asked how did he know, but he just said that when people say that they committed suicide that’s not the case. He believed that the Army killed them.”

The police ruled out any connection to Deepcut. “They said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” she added. “They were saying that it was a black-on-black shooting. But we were all saying, ‘There were three people in the car. If it was a black-on-black shooting, they would shoot everyone, not just Mario.’ I don’t think they investigated thoroughly to find out if there was some connection.”

She continued: “I think he was assassinated, I think he was executed. The car window was wound up and the person that killed my husband knew how to use a gun. Maybe my husband had known something and they didn’t want him to disclose it.”

She is convinced she was deported for speaking out: “I think the Government refused my stay in the UK because I joined with the other families who were campaigning against the Deepcut shootings.”

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “We retain an open mind regarding motive. We have no evidence this murder is linked to other events at Deepcut,” adding that “mistaken identity” was one line of inquiry. The Ministry of Defence was unable to comment on Sunday.

Weird and disturbing.
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PostPosted: 18-07-2014 10:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, here we go again:

Deepcut barracks: fresh inquest ordered into soldier's death

High court quashes 1995 open verdict into death of Private Cheryl James, one of four soldiers who died amid bullying claim

Mr Justice Mitting and Judge Peter Thornton QC both agreed that there was "an insufficiency of inquiry" at the 1995 inquest and quashed its open verdict.

Judge Thornton said "the discovery of new facts or evidence" made "a fresh investigation including a fresh inquest necessary or desirable in the interests of justice".
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PostPosted: 18-07-2014 12:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there new stuff to be investigated? Or is it looking at the old stuff again?
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