Foul Play Susupected at Deepcut

Discussion in 'RLC' started by woopert, Mar 28, 2002.

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  1. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    The following article appeared today in the Evening Standard (apologies, but can't link it):

    The mysterious deaths of two young soldiers in separate shooting incidents while on patrol at a Surrey barracks prompted calls today for a public inquiry and accusations of an "Army cover-up".

     Geoff Gray: he had two gunshot wounds in his forehead when found
    Private Geoff Gray, 17, was shot dead while on guard duty last September at the Royal Logistics Corps headquarters in Deepcut, Surrey.

    On Saturday Private James Collinson, 17, was killed in similar circumstances. He died from a single gunshot wound to the head, also while on guard duty.

    It was initially believed that Pte Gray had killed himself, but an inquest at Woking Coroner's Court heard last week that he had two gunshot wounds to his forehead and that witnesses saw a man running from the scene. An open verdict was recorded.

    His mother Diane, of Homerton, east London, told the Evening Standard today: "The Army is trying to cover up what has been going on. They have always insisted that Geoff committed suicide, but we know that's not true."

    Pte Gray's father, also named Geoff, 38, a caretaker on the Guinness Trust Estate where the family live, said: "The facts in the case just don't add up. They are telling us that he put an SA-80 rifle to his head at arm's length, shot himself on one side and then somehow moved the rifle and shot himself again on the other side of his head.

    "We want an investigation to find out who did it and what links there are with this latest incident."

    Mrs Gray said her son was desperate to serve his country. "He was a happy, popular young man who loved life in uniform.

    "He was in the Cubs and Scouts and was always passionate about the outdoor life. He was extremely fit and athletic."

    She added: "His death devastated us. The Army were great up to the time of the funeral, but after that the only contact we had with them was at the inquest. Trying to get them to look into our son's death has been like banging our heads against a brick wall."

    The Ministry of Defence and Surrey police are to launch a joint inquiry into the shootings. A police spokesman said an inquiry had already been launched into the death of Pte Collinson from Perth. But she added: "We are looking at the wider picture." An MoD spokesman said: "The Army are investigating and will look at all angles."

    On the night that Pte Gray died an officer reported hearing three gunshots in quick succession and seeing a man climbing the fence of the compound that the soldier was guarding.

    A corporal told military police the alarm was sounded just after 1am. Soon after 2am the body was found about a foot away from the perimeter fence - an area that had already been searched three times, the inquest heard.

    The corporal said in his statement: "His weapon was lying about half a metre away from his feet. I shouted 'man down'. I could see two holes in his forehead and blood on the floor."

    An MoD spokesman said: "There has not been any change to the guarding of the barracks in the light of these incidents as far as I'm aware. The question of whether or not the safety of soldiers has been put in question by these incidents is the very reason that we have called a board of inquiry."
  2. Yes, I got told the story when I was at Deepcut stagging on at the very gate!! But you know what people are like when they decide to twist the stories round...I got told that he shot himself - It must have been around 1995/1996?? Not quite sure...But I believe that for their parents to be left in the dark, and nothing to be done about it all until now, just proves what type of Army we're really in!  If such thing happened to me whilst stagging on, I would'nt appreciate it if they did that to my parents and made it even harder for them by denying all evidence, especially coming on 7/8 years now! It just proves to me how much the Army is actually grateful for us 'soldiers' to come forward and fight for the Country - Because at times like this, we get no thanks or help from them whatsoever!!!! :mad: :mad:

    Good luck to the parents though!!! ;D
  3. Leeanne

    You really must be sure of your facts before you condemn the system with ill informed comment.  The first tragic incident occurred in Sept 01 not 6/7 years ago. It takes a couple of months for the corona's inquest to reach a conclusion, in this case it was an Open Verdict, this is an independent civilian legal procudure not the military trying to cover things up.  

    Moreover, it was announced that the MOD would hold a second independent investigation into both of the deaths.  I know that the RLC in Deepcut will have been offering every support to the parents of the soldiers involved, and have nothing to hide.  Like you I wish the parents good luck.

    In future though if you can not be bothered to check your facts you should stick to the Naafi Bar
  4. Excuse me Maj-blink or whatever it is that you deem to call yourself!  I was'nt after an arguement over this.....I simply said at the very beginning of my post that I WAS ONLY TOLD!! I did say that people tend to twist stories around (That's if you can read and by the looks of your spelling and grammar - I'm surprised that you got this far, MAJOR!!!) There was two incidents, and I know that one of them happened within the year of me trooping at Deepcut!  As for the parents being messed around - There's proof of it, so why deny it????????  Deepcut is full of overboarded *****rs, (well most of them).....So before you jump the 'gun', next time read my posts properly and get the facts right yourself.........Everybody has DIFFERENT views and opinions!! And this is a site for anybody that feels free to answer..............If you do'nt like what's said then BOGOFF!!!!! Point made.... ;D ;D
  5. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    Now then, now then, now then, then, now, now then.....

    Maj, you are quite corerct, the Coroner's court is entirely independant of any process, judicial, military, or otherwise and can only hand down 5 verdicts, Death by Misadventure (accident of the victim's making), Accidental Death (an accident of no-ones making), Death by Natural Causes (eponymous), and Death by Foul Play (murder or manslaughter), or an Open Verdict (where the cause of death cannot be established). A Coroner's court has wide ranging rules of evidence and can consider things which would be inadmissable in a court of law. What it cannot do is apportion blame, only find a verdict on the causes of death. While a Coroner's Court may have found an Open Verdict in the case of Pte Gray, it does not follow that the circumstances are entirely without suspicion, merley that not enough details of the events are known to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.

    There have been long held suspicions about the impartial nature of service enquiries, the Wratten/Day report into the Mull of Kintire episode is evidence of enquiries being biased when the reputations of senior officers are in question. I am afraid that the hierarchy of any institution invariably seeks to protect itself, and the army is no different in that respect. Unless and/or until the full facts of the case are known all we can do is speculate. Perhaps the correct thing to do would be to ask an impartial body to investigate the events of that night, but I suspect they would not be able to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion unless evidence or witnesses come forward.
  6. Mmmm, so this is what the RLC Board looks like....nice...anyway pardon me for butting in, but just a few points.

    First of all Evidence introduced into a Coroners Court is given on oath, however as Woopert has already said the evidence is not covered by the same rules as either Criminal Courts or Courts Marshall. Generally speaking a Coroners Court, if there is the least doubt, will always go for an open verdict, rather than Suicide. Mainly because of Insurance/Compensation Issues (The Family get nothing for a Suicide).The fact that the first young man had 2 GSW to his head would tend to offer some element of doubt.

    Secondly, from my experience and I do have some, it is very difficult to 'cover up' an incident like this, some consideration has to be given to the possible motives for such a 'Cover up'. Was it Murder?, was it a Terrorist Act or was it part of a Major conspiracy, if it is any of these it is likely the truth will eventually surface, albeit in 30+years time!!

    All that said, no matter what the circumstances of these incidents it is terrible to think of the absolute waste of the 2 guys lives and the trauma for their friends and family. I was always and still am, a believer that Guards should be mounted at their post in pairs.
  7. Leeanne

    Point not made!  I did read your E Mail and I am happy to quote from it,  what ever incident you remember from trooping it clearly wasn't the same incident that Woopert was referring to in his original press article as this happened in Sept 01.

    "I got told that he shot himself - It must have been around 1995/1996?? Not quite sure...But I believe that for their parents to be left in the dark, and nothing to be done about it all until now..."  The implication being that the parents were kept in the dark for 5/6 years is not correct.

    However, you are correct when you say everyone "has DIFFERENT views and opinions!!" but those based on gossip and not on fact are not helpful - "I WAS ONLY TOLD" (your words) - especially in a sensitive issue such as this.  As for spelling and grammar I take the hit on that but those in glass houses etc.

    Woopert, bluenugget thank you interesting comments, I would be the first to agree that the system is not infallible; the Wratten/Day report was indeed a disgrace.
  8. There you go again - Galloping away on your horse as usual, up in the sky in your hot air balloon................Life just could'nt get more serious with you, eh??
    Chill out man!!! :p
  9. I heard a snippet of a news report on BBC Radio yesterday (Thursday 02 May 2002) about a re-opening of enquiries by Civpol into one or more of these incidents. Sorry to be so vague but I was heading down the M74 at the time and reception was not very good.
  10. Yep the civvy police are re-opening the investigation,after requests of the lads parents.The inquiry has nothing to do with the RMP's,or the MOD and anything they come up with is being reported to the parents of both unfortunate soldiers
  11. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    It seems the Daily Mail thinks that there is a conspiracy of silence going on at Deepcut to keep the news of a couple of firefights and stories of strangers with rifles in and around the camp out of the public eye and away from the police. All quite bizare.
  12. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    News reports today suggest that the police are going to re-investigate the deaths and bring in a ballistics expert from the US to consult on the evidence.

    Let's hope they get to the truth for the sake of the families involved.
  13. Its very sad when someone choses to take their own life, so am not trying to be disrespectful to the parents here.  

    Having seen several similar incidents myself, it is always the ones that you don't expect who will try to take their own lives.  In fact, the ones that come to you having contemplated suicide are the ones that you can help.  One individual (not Deepcut) had been dumped by his girlfriend, so chose to try to take his own life on guard.  That was the only trigger for his actions.  

    The fact that there are weapons available only makes the task of suicide easier - had there not been live ammuntion around, the individual(s) would have chosen other methods (which I have also seen the results of).  Unfortunately, the age bracket of young adults has seen a rise in suicides over the last few years, especially amongst young males.  Our primary recruiting pool falls into that bracket.  Statistically, the army has a lower proportion of suicides in that bracket, so we are doing things right.  No other organisation has a welfare network as deep as we do, from Pl Comd to Welfare Officer, Padre and WRVS.  We also have a family ethos, that is we look after each other when we are down.

    I feel sorry for the families, and feel that the army could explain itself better, however, the civil authorities have primacy in these cases - that is why a coroner investigated all the deaths.  Had foul play been suspected, evidence would not have been disposed of.  Sorry, but I think the sad truth is evident.
  14. in a way i disagree with you spanner, i was bullied ,never physically as i would have beat the sh*t out of them while posted in N.I. 10 years ago.I threatened to shoot myself as i saw it as the only way out. the med centre sent me for evaluation at the shrinks who said i was fine and it was a moment of madness.the problem laid with my unit med centre.the major i saw basically said if i wanted to kill myself then so be it, i cant see how that is good practice, he was quick enough having me charged for telling him to go feck himself, i would give anything to see him face to face now!!!