Pte James Collinson 260719 CREDIT Family Handout Picture.jpg
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Deepcut: James Collinson’s Family Drops Bid For New Inquest

Private Collinson's parents said the incidents at Deepcut have cast "a dark, dark shadow over the British Army".

Pte James Collinson 260719 CREDIT Family Handout Picture.jpg

James Collinson died in 2002 at Deepcut Barracks (Picture: Family handout).

The parents of a recruit shot dead at Deepcut Barracks have dropped their bid for a new inquest.

James Collinson died at the barracks 17 years ago and the first inquest into his death ended in an open verdict.

His parents, Yvonne and Jim, said after seeing the families of three other recruits who died at the base in Surrey face new inquests, they realised they did not have the strength.

"The inquest process has not been cathartic but, rather, has left more unanswered questions – some of them to do with matters that were considered to be beyond the scope of the inquests," a statement by Private Collinson's parents read.

Deepcut Barracks (Picture: PA).

This year, Judge Peter Rook QC criticised the investigation at the time as "cursory" and carried out "with a closed mind".

The family's solicitor, Emma Norton from Liberty, said lines of questioning "deployed against" the family of Private James had informed the Collinson's decision.

James Collinson was one of four soldiers who died at Deepcut Barracks between 1995 and 2002.

Privates Sean Benton and Cheryl James died in 1995, followed by Private Geoff Gray in 2001 and Private Collinson in 2002.

Private Benton's inquest resulted in a suicide verdict, while the other cases had open verdicts.

Following enquiries ended in suicide verdicts for Private Benton, James and Gray.

Earlier this year, Private Gray's family called for a new inquiry into his death.

Deepcut Sean Benton Cheryl James, James Collinson, Geoff Gray Slipscreen
Pte Collinson is one of four who died at Deepcut Barracks between 1995 and 2002.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said the deaths at Deepcut had led to fundamental changes in training and care of soldiers.

"Any death is a tragedy and our thoughts remain with the families and friends," the MOD spokesperson added.

However, Private Collinson's parents said the incidents at Deepcut have cast "a dark, dark shadow over the British Army" and "much more still needs to change". 

Responding to the news, a statement by Surrey Police said they respect the decision of the Collinson family and are "in the process of issuing a formal apology to them."

"Surrey Police acknowledges and has previously accepted the mistakes made during our initial investigation into deaths at Deepcut Barracks, which has resulted in further suffering for the families," the force said in a statement.

"This is a matter of deep regret."

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