Fresh inquest into 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.

Live updates

  1. National

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".

Advertisement

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.

Back to top