DEEPCUT INQUIRY ‘A FARCE’ says father of dead soldier

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Locked-out Gate Gourmet workers on the picket line – demanding a national demonstration to highlight their fight
Locked-out Gate Gourmet workers on the picket line – demanding a national demonstration to highlight their fight

The Surrey Police re-investigation into the deaths of recruits at the Deepcut army barracks ‘was a farce’ Private Geoff Gray’s father, also named Geoff, said yesterday.

He was commenting after the publication of a summary of the sharply critical Devon and Cornwall Police review of the Surrey Police inquiry.

Geoff Gray, dismissed Surrey Police’s claim that its investigation was not flawed.

Gray said the families had only been shown three pages of the 150-page report. He said they need to see a full report and not just an executive summary.

He also did not think much of one police force scrutinising another and insisted there has to be an independent public inquiry.

Gray said: ‘I believe it is a rather cosy situation where you have got one police force investigating another police force.

He added: ‘Surrey Police told us that even though the start of the investigation was not focused, even though there were problems with the mindset, even though it did not follow government guidelines or follow the murder investigation manual, their investigation was not flawed.

‘I do not believe that.’

Geoff Gray obtained crucial documents under the Freedom of Information Act from the MoD.

The Devon and Cornwall review board said that the ‘issues raised (by the documents) went to the heart of the question of Surrey Police’s mindset’.

It added: ‘Surrey Police subsequently decided no work should be undertaken by the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary review into these new documents.

‘As a result the findings in this report do not take into account these unresolved issues.’

Jim Collinson, the father of Private James Collinson added: ‘Surrey Police’s mindset into the investigation was wrong.

‘They treated the murder investigation differently as opposed to if it was a civilian death.’

Privates Sean Benton, James Collinson, Cheryl James and Geoff Gray died from gunshot wounds at the Surrey barracks between 1995 and 2002.

The Devon and Cornwall review of the Surrey Police inquiry concluded that Surrey detectives decided too quickly the deaths were all suicides.

There was also a ‘lack of focus’ and official guidelines ‘were not followed’.

• Second news story

THREE CHARGED WITH TERROR OFFENCES

THREE men arrested last month have been charged with 21 offences under the Terrorism Act, Scotland Yard said yesterday.

Tariq al-Daour, 19, of Paddington, London, was charged with fundraising offences under the Terrorism Act.

Waseem Mughal, of Kent, and Younis Tsouli, of London, both 22, have been charged with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion.

They appeared at Bow Street magistrates court yesterday.

The Metropolitan police said there were a total of 21 charges, with Mr Mughal facing 10 and Mr Tsouli eight, and Mr al-Daour facing three.

The possession of a DVD entitled ‘Martyrdom Operations’ has been enough for the authorities to link Mughal with a ‘purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.’

He is also accused of having two pieces of paper in his house, one with the words in Arabic ‘Welcome to Jihad’ and the other ‘Hospital = attack’.

It is also alleged that a recipe for rocket propulsion and a guide on causing an explosion were found in his bedroom.

No explosive substances were found, or the means of igniting them.

The other charges relate to conspiring with Mr Tsouli ‘and others to murder a person unknown’.

Tsouli, from Shepherd’s Bush, was allegedly found to have a video slides film on a computer hard-drive showing how to make a car bomb.

Mr Tsouli and Mr Mughal are accused of conspiring together to create a public nuisance by causing explosions.