14 October 2016
New Inquest Into Deepcut Death of Pte Sean Benton
A judge has granted a fresh investigation into the death of a soldier at Deepcut barrack more than 20 years ago.
Pte Sean Benton, 20, from Hastings in East Sussex, was found with five bullet wounds to his chest in June 1995 while training at the base in Surrey.
His death was originally recorded as suicide following an inquest the same year and a criminal investigation in 2002 found no evidence of third-party involvement.
But a BBC report said neither medical or mental health records were obtained and no evidence was sought or given concerning his experiences at the barracks.
Mr Justice Collins said that “some doubt” had been cast on the original findings following fresh evidence that had come to light.
Pte Benton’s brother, Tony Benton, and sister, Tracy Lewis, were given permission to apply for a new hearing by the attorney general after using the Human Rights Act to access evidence held by the police.
In a statement, Ms Lewis said: “For two decades, our family has been tormented by questions about what Sean went through at Deepcut. If his death had been properly investigated in 1995, we would have been spared years of uncertainty and pain.”
Benton was among four soldiers to die at Deepcut between 1995 and 2002. All were found dead with gunshot wounds.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said: "We care deeply about our young recruits and our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Private Sean Benton."
A date for the fresh inquest has yet to be set.
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