Fresh inquest into Deepcut soldier death

A fresh inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James from Llangollen begins today. The 18 year old was found dead at Deepcut Barracks in 1995.

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Inquest into north Wales soldier's death adjourned

Pte Cheryl James was undergoing initial training at Deepcut when she died in 1995. Credit: Family Photo

After two hours of legal argument, a coroner has adjourned the inquest into death of Private Cheryl James until Thursday.

The inquest was adjourned to allow new forensic and scientific evidence to be reviewed by all interested parties, including Private Cheryl James' family, Surrey Police and the Ministry of Defence.

The coroner also said that scientific evidence which was due to be heard this week will also be considered at a later stage.

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'Full, frank and fearless' Deepcut investigation promised

By ITV News correspondent Juliet Bremner

Private Cheryl James was one of four teenage recruits to die at Deepcut over a seven-year period. Credit: Family handout

The second inquest into the death of teenage recruit Cheryl James opened today with a promise that it would be a "full, frank and fearless" investigation.

The 18-year-old's parents won a legal battle to hold a new inquest and present additional evidence into the possible reasons why she died at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey in November 1995.

But at the opening of the inquest, Judge Brian Barker sitting as coroner, said that he could not allow a wider inquiry in the culture at the base. He pointed out that it was his role to consider "how, not why " Pte James had died.

He promised there would be "a full, frank and fearless inquiry into the death of Cheryl James" but this would not look at allegations of sexual abuse and bullying that may have occurred before the night of her death.

The family had argued at pre-trial hearings that this could have contributed to Cheryl's state of mind and had hoped to introduce witnesses to testify about earlier experiences of abuse at Deepcut.

MOD misses deadline in Welsh soldier inquest

Pte Cheryl James was undergoing initial training at Deepcut when she died in 1995. Credit: Family Photo

The Ministry of Defence has failed to meet a promised deadline for submitting crucial documents for an inquest into the death of a teenage soldier at an army barracks, a court has heard.

Private Cheryl James, from Llangollen, was found with a bullet wound to her head at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey in 1995. She was 18 and undergoing initial training. An inquest is now underway after an open verdict - recorded in December 1995 - was quashed in the High Court.

Private James was one of four soldiers who died at the barracks between 1995 and 2002 amid claims of bullying and abuse. Privates Sean Benton, James Collinson and Geoff Gray also died from gunshot wounds

At a pre-inquest review at Woking Coroner's Court, Private James's father Des James said he was "disappointed" by the failure of the MoD to supply the documents by the agreed deadline.

Read more on this story on ITV News's national site.

Fresh inquest into Welsh soldier's death due next year

A new inquest into the death of a teenage soldier from North Wales will be held early next year, a coroner ruled today.

Private Cheryl James, 18 and from Llangollen, died at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey in November 1995.

She was found dead, with a single gunshot wound, in mysterious circumstances.

An open verdict recorded at an initial inquest, held just weeks after her death, has since been quashed.

Pte Cheryl James was undergoing initial training at Deepcut when she died, nearly 20 years ago. Credit: Family photograph

At a pre-inquest review in Woking today, coroner Brian Barker ruled that the inquest will take place in isolation, despite a request from Surrey Police for it to be held concurrently with those into the deaths of three other recruits at the barracks between 1995 and 2002.

Pte James' family supported that ruling, but say they are "dismayed" that no decision has yet been taken on whether to exhume her body.

They believe the colour of bullet fragments which may still exist in her head could be vital, and prove she did not commit suicide.

Alison Foster QC, representing her family, said: "From our standpoint, an exhumation would be necessary for you to carry out a full and proper inquiry."

The coroner said he would wait for a doctor's report before deciding whether the "difficult and unusual" step should be taken to exhume Pte James' body.

The new inquest is due to begin on 1 February next year, and examine the barracks' policies on sexual behaviour, supervision of young females, drugs, alcohol and accommodation.

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Deepcut: Adjournment request for Cheryl James inquest

A grieving father is trying to get the body of his daughter exhumed in the search for new evidence, some 20 years after she died in mysterious circumstances.

Private Cheryl James from Llangollen was serving at the Deepcut Barracks in Surrey when she died from a single gunshot wound.

But the police force who originally investigated the death today asked a judge to consider adjourning a new inquest.

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Deepcut inquest was 'extremely limited and had flaws'

The first inquest into the death of soldier Private Cheryl James who died at Deepcut barracks in 1995 was "extremely limited and had flaws," Judge Peter Thornton QC said.

Deepcut barracks in Surrey Credit: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

Pte James was undergoing initial training at Deepcut when she was found dead with a bullet wound between her right eye and the bridge of her nose.

The first inquest was completed less than a month after she died. An early assumption had been that she had taken her own life.

"Her rifle was not examined forensically. No fingerprints were taken from it. No gunshot residue tests were made," Judge Thornton said.

Only a limited number of witness statements were taken. Very few witnesses were called to give evidence, and it was not surprising that the scope of the inquest was "circumscribed", said the judge.

The then Surrey coroner concluded with an open verdict after saying he was not able to find that suicide was proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Soldier's family welcome new Deepcut inquest

The family of a soldier from Denbighshire who died at Deepcut barracks in 1995 have welcomed the news that there will be a fresh inquest into their daughter's death.

Pte Cheryl James, 18, was found dead from a single gunshot wound in November 1995. An inquest recorded an open verdict.

Cheryl James was undergoing initial training at Deepcut Barracks when she was found with gunshot wounds in November 1995 Credit: Family photo

She was one of four soldiers who died at the Surrey barracks between 1995 and 2002 amid claims of bullying and abuse.

Her parents, Des and Doreen James, applied through human rights campaign group Liberty for a new inquest after the Human Rights Act was used to secure access to documents held by the authorities about the teenager's death.

Mr and Mrs James said they were "delighted" to have a fresh inquest but "a meaningful inquiry into Cheryl's death is almost 20 years late".

Fresh inquest ordered over Deepcut soldier death

The High Court has ordered a fresh inquest into the death of soldier Pte Cheryl James who died at Deepcut barracks in 1995.

Cheryl James was undergoing initial training at Deepcut Barracks when she was found with gunshot wounds in November 1995 Credit: Family photo

Pte James, 18 and from Denbighshire, was undergoing initial training at Deepcut Barracks when she was found with gunshot wounds in November 1995.

She was one of four young soldiers who died at the barracks in Surrey between 1995 and 2002.

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