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Deepcut 1999-2002: bullying & murder in the British Army

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:25 pm    Post subject: Deepcut 1999-2002: bullying & murder in the British Army Reply with quote

Soldiers went Awol from barracks after 'unbearable bullying'
Two soldiers who fled their barracks 11 days ago claimed they had been subject to unbearable bullying by their comrades, it has emerged.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4987784/Soldiers-went-Awol-from -barracks-after-unbearable-bullying.html

Privates Andre Treble and Andrew Jones, both 22, went Awol from Buckley Barracks near Hullavington, Wilts, having said they could no longer take the "beastings" from colleagues and wanted to be discharged from the Army.




Pte Treble claimed that three days before they absconded, he was beaten by three soldiers who then ransacked his room.

Pte Jones's mother, Anne Evans, said that her son had been verbally abused after standing up for Pte Treble, who was fostered at the age of three.

The Ministry of Defence said it was aware of the allegations by the pair, from 9 Supply Regiment RLC. It said that any recruit who fell "short of the army's high standards" would be disciplined.

Mrs Evans, 56, a medical copywriter, said that Pte Treble, who had become a family friend after visiting their home in South Wales, was first picked on after testing positive for cannabis in February.

She had phoned Pte Treble on his mobile and heard him being physically assaulted during the call, she claimed.

"All of a sudden there was a bang on the door, and then sniggering and giggling," Mrs Evans said.

"There was the sound of low voices. Then I heard not heavy bangs but lighter bangs. You could hear scuffling and clattering. Andre dived out of a bedroom to the guardroom.

"When he got back, there was blood up the walls, his personal belongings has been wrecked. They had also put water in a coffee jar and tipped it on the bed. Then the jar had been smashed and ground into the sheets."

The day before they left, her son sent her a text message saying: "This is too dangerous for me and Andre. We NEED to get out of here as quickly as possible."

Another short message said: "Me and Andre have been confronted by them so we are not staying here. If we are not discharged by the end of the day we are going Awol."

Mrs Evans, whose husband Robert, 55, a former civil servant, is suffering from terminal cancer, said the situation could "quite easily" have become "another Deepcut".

The men briefly visited her home after they left the barracks on March 3 and had told her they were going to return to base to seek a discharge, she said.

But when they did not, police traced her car – which they were driving – to Edinburgh, where she thinks they may now be. Mrs Evans can no longer get an answer from either man's mobile phone.

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Last edited by TonyGosling on Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:07 am; edited 5 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just had it from ex-army source, unsurprisingly, that these deaths were almost certainly killings not suicides.
A sexually obsessed deviant group of soldiers detailed to do training and run the base (NCOs?), backed by officers, were raping new recruits of both sexes they liked the look of.
If the recruits complained to the Officer Commanding at the base or his immediate deputies, rather than taking any disciplinary action, two thugs would be sent round to confront the new recruit on their own. They would then be threatened that if they breathed a word about the rape they would be killed.

Corporal Anne Marie Ellement hanged herself outside her barracks in 2011. She had claimed that she was raped by two of her colleagues in the Royal Military Police (RMP). Her allegation was investigated - by the RMP itself - but no charges were brought.
Her family say that was not not surprising and the case should have been investigated by an independent outside body.
It's one of a number of cases that have prompted a debate by MPs today into whether it is time the army had an independent ombudsman to investigate complaints.
That was the recommendation of the 2006 review into the deaths of four soldiers at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey. But the army successfully argued against it and a Services Complaints Commissioner with more limited powers was introduced instead, but she says the system was still not working effectively.
The family are being helped in their case by the human rights organisation Liberty. Emma Norton is one of their lawyers on the case.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21274785

Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 16:57 GMT
Timeline: Deaths at Deepcut barracks
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2372983.stm

The Army says the Deepcut deaths were suicide
The families of four young soldiers who died at Deepcut barracks in Surrey are renewing their calls for an immediate public inquiry.

June 1995 - Private Sean Benton, from Hastings, East Sussex, was found dead at the Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, with five bullet wounds to his chest. Despite ballistics tests suggesting that only one bullet was fired from close range and the others from a distance, the Army said he had committed suicide.

November 1995 - Pte Cheryl James, 18, of Llangollen, Gwent, was found dead with a single bullet wound to the head at the barracks - headquarters of the Royal Logistical Corps. An Army inquiry concluded she had committed suicide and Surrey Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the death but a coroner recorded an open verdict.

September 2001 - Pte Geoff Gray, 17, from Hackney, east London, was found with two gunshot wounds to his head while on guard duty. Five shots had been fired and the other three bullets have not been found. A coroner recorded an open verdict after hearing from witnesses that during a search after the shots were fired a figure was seen running away.

23 March, 2002 - Pte James Collinson, 17, from Perth, was found dead with a single gunshot wound while on guard duty at the barracks. The Army said he killed himself, but his parents do not accept this, insisting he had been happy. No inquest has been held.

30 April - Surrey Police opened an investigation into the deaths of Pte Gray and Pte Collinson after campaigning by the families.

10 June - The families of the four soldiers called for a public inquiry into their deaths at a meeting in Westminster hosted by the Labour MP Kevin McNamara. They said that official investigations into the deaths amounted to a "cover-up" and claimed their children may have been killed.

4 July - The Commons Defence Select Committee announced it will investigate the deaths of the soldiers after the police inquiry concludes. The parents of Cheryl James claimed she had been forced into a sexual relationship with a corporal.

5 July - Surrey Police confirmed that detectives were reviewing the deaths of Pte James and Pte Benton as part of their inquiry.

25 July - The Army admitted it had destroyed some of the bloodied uniforms of soldiers.

26 July - Kevin McNamara, Labour MP for Hull North, said he was amazed that forensic evidence had been destroyed and called for a public inquiry.

2 October - An independent ballistics expert in BBC documentary concluded it would have been impossible for Pte Gray to have killed himself.

James Collinson's body was exhumed this month

October 3 - The body of James Collinson was exhumed from a grave in Scotland. A pathologist carried out second more detailed post-mortem examination to try to establish how he died.

24 October - Police take charge of investigations into all untimely deaths of soldiers under new rules prompted by the four fatalities at the Deepcut base.

28 October - The Ministry of Defence promised a review of training procedures in the armed forces, focusing on whether training is too harsh, while cracking down on bullying and sexual harassment.

29 October - The families of the four dead soldiers join forces again to call for a public inquiry.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2372983.stm

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, at a privatised army training school too

Judge fears 'Deepcut' culture remains after 'cover up' of army recruit sexual abuse
Military staff have failed to learn the lessons of the Deepcut Review and continue to turn a blind eye to the bullying and abuse of young recruits, a judge has claimed.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9703451/Judge-fears-Deepcut-cul ture-remains-after-cover-up-of-army-recruit-sexual-abuse.html

By Richard Alleyne - 3:37PM GMT 26 Nov 2012

Judge Michael Mettyear said there remained a “worrying culture” of secrecy after a military college tried to cover up the sexual abuse and ritual humiliation of a teenage female recruit.

He said he was “concerned” that attempts had been made to make the victim withdraw her complaints and “keep the mouths shut” of five other witnesses.

Eventually the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had to go to the police for her accusations to be taken seriously.

Today, as a jury found a trainee guilty at Hull Crown Court, Judge Mettyear said it was “chilling” that there were still echoes of Deepcut, the barracks in Surrey where four recruits allegedly committed suicide between 1995 and 2002 amid reports of systematic bullying by senior officers.

"There was a chilling moment when she (the victim) mentioned Deepcut and we know what's gone on there with people withholding information and suicides,” he said.

"I'm worried if there is something in the culture of the Army and people training in the Army to keep their mouths shut.

"I'm really concerned about five students declining to give statements. It looks as though it has been directed by someone.

"I don't want to blame them because what we have found in the case with this girl is someone in there actually telling them it might interfere with their careers, and it's hardly surprising.

“I'm worried about the wider implications with all the problems at Deepcut."

The widespread culture of bullying and attempts to pervert the course of justice was uncovered during a criminal trial in Hull, East Yorks.

Military staff stand accused of ignoring complaints of bullying and abuse, with one senior recruitment officer warning the sexual assault victim her army career would be over if she attempted to bring her attacker to justice.

Five students refused to give evidence against Nathan Williams, 20, of Beverley, who sexually assaulted the girl and subjected her to months of bullying.

Williams had been training to go into the Army at the Quality Personal Development (QPD) College in west Hull, when he humiliated and bullied the girl for months before subjecting her to a sexual assault.

The girl complained to staff at the college, which prepares students for a career in the Armed Forces, but no action was taken, forcing her to call in police.

In tears, the girl told the court: "If I asked him to stop, it just got worse. I just felt humiliated and degraded. I told the staff and they were fairly dismissive and they told me he was being childish.

"I told them at least twice. I was horrified, I couldn't believe it. He was looking at me as though I was a joke, someone to be mocked.

"I felt degraded, I just wanted to get on with things and ignore it. I had just had enough. I just wanted to get it stopped and college was not doing much, so I decided to go to the police."

One month after giving a statement to police, a recruiting sergeant in Hull warned her she would not be able to take up her place in the Army if she pursued the complaint, the court heard.

The girl withdrew her complaint until Detective Constable Angie Elvin, of Humberside Police, warned staff they would be perverting the course of justice if they failed to allow the girl to continue the case.

A jury at Hull Crown Court has found Williams guilty of sexual assault.

DC Elvin said: "She was poked, prodded, cajoled and called a lesbian.

"He humiliated her in front of her colleagues. It started off as tomfoolery but then it became more of a cultural thing within the organisation.

"It was institutionalised bullying because it was accepted and no one addressed it."

The QPD College is run by former soldiers but is accredited by Hull City Council, which suspended its permission to enrol students until it took steps to address safeguarding issues by working with the police.


Related Articles
Private shot soldier 10 Aug 2003
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1438427/Woman-soldier-ordered-c omrade-to-fire-on-Deepcut-suicide-victim-after-shooting-alert.html
Deepcut deaths inquiry 'botched' 12 Mar 2011
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8377851/Concerns-over-Dee pcut-deaths-investigation.html

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UNDERAGE DRINK AND DRUGS AT DEEPCUT
Barry Keevins photo Barry KeevinsWoking, Surrey11 Feb. 2016
Underage drink and drugs at Deepcut
https://www.byline.com/project/38/article/806

Serving soldier tells how bored, underage trainees turned to drink and drugs
Bored teenage recruits took drugs and drank underage in a NAAFI bar at the British army barracks where Cheryl James was found shot dead, her inquest heard.
An army officer who served with Cheryl at Deepcut before she died in 1995 said underage drinking in the NAAFI bar was common.
"We were 17, there was a bar, we could get drinks, that is what we done," Sarah Ditchfield said.
Warrant Officer Ditchfield said: "I was served at the bar, even though I was 17."
She agreed the environment at Deepcut in 1995 was chaotic.
"There wasn't enough junior NCOs to control the number of recruits they had at the time.
"There was no military training, there was no accountability," she said.
"At Deepcut, there was no ownership on it we were just left."
Marina Fawcett, another friend of Cheryl James at Deepcut told Surrey police when they interviewed her in 2002: "If you weren't on guard duty, you were out getting drunk."
WO Ditchfield said drug taking was common among recruits.
She admitted taking speed (methamphetamine) and said she was aware Cheryl had talked about taking it.
Cheryl James was one of four young soldiers found shot dead at the Princess Royal barracks near Deepcut in Surrey between 1995 and 2002.
A second inquest into her death was called after the original open verdict was quashed in 2014.
Answering questions from John Beggs QC for Surrey police, Warrant Officer Ditchfield admitted using drugs and saw others using drugs while she was at Deepcut.
In a police interview in 2002, she said: "I took speed.
"I would say they had all done it and some more frequently than others."
Asked during the 2002 interview if Cheryl James had taken drugs, she said: "If she went out, I know she took speed.
"I never saw her, but I new she had."
Warrant Officer Ditchfield said she had never seen drugs before arriving at the camp which was then called Blackdown.
Recruits would buy drugs at a nightclub in nearby Camberly.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deepcut inquest: Pte Cheryl James 'told to choose lover'
23 March 2016
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-35884842
Cheryl James
Pte Cheryl James was found dead with a bullet wound to the head
A boyfriend of a young soldier who died at Deepcut barracks asked her to end a love triangle at the Surrey base on the day she died, an inquest has heard.
Pte Paul Wilkinson said he asked Pte Cheryl James to choose one of her lovers and pick him or her boyfriend.
The inquest in Woking was told Pte Wilkinson and Pte James had been caught in bed by her boyfriend Sapper Simeon Carr-Minns, known then as Jim.
Pte James was found dead with a bullet wound to the head in November 1995.
The 18-year-old from Llangollen, Denbighshire, was one of four recruits to die at the base in seven years.
Mr Wilkinson, then aged 16, said he spoke to Pte James about 20 minutes before he heard she had died.
He said: "I just remember saying 'pick one of us, if you want to be friends that would be fine if you want to stay with him'. She said that she did not."
Deepcut barracks, pictured in 2002Image copyrightPA
Image caption
Her body was found near the perimeter fence
Mr Wilkinson said he did not try to avoid being seen while the pair talked and he was just sitting in a chair in the cabin while she was on guard duty.
He was eventually seen by a major and told to leave because he should not have been with Pte James while she was on duty, the inquest heard.
He said the officer "pretty much escorted me back to the barracks".
The major has previously told the inquest that he did not march Mr Wilkinson off.
The inquest heard that was the last time Mr Wilkinson saw Pte James.
He also told the hearing about his anger and upset after Mr Carr-Minns caught him in bed with Pte James, days before she died.
He said Pte James told him then she was splitting up with Mr Carr-Minns.
Privates Benton, James, Gray and Collinson, who all died at DeepcutImage copyrightPA
Image caption
Privates Benton, James, Gray and Collinson died at Deepcut between 1995 and 2002
Alison Foster QC, representing the James family, suggested to Mr Wilkinson he was "not just angry" but "humiliated" when Mr Carr-Minns turned up because other people who were also in the room began to tease and laugh at him.
Mr Wilkinson said being caught in bed by her boyfriend "is not what you want".
Ms Foster then told Mr Wilkinson the major was certain he had not marched him away and asked: "Were you aware that you needed to sort out some sort of alibi?"
Mr Wilkinson said he had always given the same account but the other officer remembered it differently.
Ms Foster then recalled a statement from December 2002 in which Mr Wilkinson commented that if he had not been forced off the grounds he could have been facing a murder charge and been in prison.
But Mr Wilkinson denied he had tipped Pte James over the edge.
Ms Foster took Mr Wilkinson through differences in statements he has made and said: "Your story gets more and more elaborate as time goes by.
"Your upset and humiliation gave you a motive to be seriously angry with Cheryl.
"Is it the case you have been less than truthful for your reason for going to see her on Monday morning?"
But Mr Wilkinson replied: "No that is not true. I have said all that I remembered."
Deepcut woodsImage copyrightMOD Police
Image caption
The body of Pte Cheryl James was found in woods near the gate of Deepcut barracks
Mr Wilkinson was asked if he saw Pte James sitting by a tree, if either of them had messed with her rifle, if he saw an accident happen to her, if he was present when the trigger was pulled, and if he heard the shot - he replied "no" to each question.
He had earlier denied he got violent when angry but Ms Foster pointed out he put someone's head through an arcade machine when he thought they were laughing about Pte James's death.
Mr Wilkinson said he had been pushed to breaking point and added: "I think any other person would have done the same thing."
A first inquest into Pte James's death in December 1995 recorded an open verdict. This second inquest was ordered after High Court judges quashed the original findings.
The hearing continues.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2016-03-24 17:58
Deepcut CO 'Knew NCOs Were Breaking The Rules'
http://forces.tv/08581944

The former Commanding Officer of Deepcut Barracks has told an inquest NCOs were banned from 'fraternising sexually' with young trainees, but he knew some were breaking the rules.

Lieutenant Colonel Nigel Josling has been giving evidence at the inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James in 1995.

He was commanding officer at the camp when two recruits were found shot dead.

Mr Josling added that he's often thought about whether he 'should have fallen on his sword' because of the regime he was asked to take charge of.

It comes after the inquest heard that female recruits at Deepcut barracks were told to "keep their mouths shut" after Private James' body was found.

The inquest has previously heard claims that Pte James was ordered to have sex with another recruit the night before she died, which the soldier in question denied.

The Army, meanwhile, has apologised to the family of Pte James.

It admitted that officers saw new recruits as a sexual challenge at Deepcut, with the inquest also being told that trainees there were left "running around" taking illegal drugs and drinking while underage.

More: "Cheryl James Bullet Wound May Not Have Been Self-Inflicted"

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deepcut instructor in sex attacks on recruits
by SUZY SHANLEY 9 SEP 2004 UPDATED 03:18, 3 JUL 2013
BY GETSURREY
... and he had already been court martialled for indecency
http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/local-news/deepcut-instructor-sex-atta cks-recruits-4848716

THE parents of Army recruits who died in mysterious circumstances have expressed their shock that an officer who was stripped of his rank for a sexual offence was sent to Deepcut as a training instructor to young recruits.

They spoke out after Leslie Skinner, 46, changed his plea at Kingston Crown Court on Tuesday and admitted five sex attacks on young male soldiers.

Among other things, Skinner, who is married with children, forced soldiers to strip before horsewhipping them and photographing the humiliating acts.

Skinner was serving with an Aldershot regiment in Northern Ireland in August 1996 when he lost his warrant officer rank at a court martial for indecently exposing himself in a car park.

However, he was sent to Deepcut three months later in a posting which gave him responsibility over young soldiers.

He had been due to stand trial this week after originally denying the allegations made by three soldiers at the Deepcut camp and a fourth at the Arnhem barracks in Aldershot.

But he changed his plea at the last minute, admitting five charges of indecent assault on the men between 1992 and 1997.

A rape charge and four further charges of indecent assault were ordered to lie on file after Sally Howes, prosecuting, said the crown was prepared to accept his plea.

Diane Gray, mother of Pte Geoff Gray who was one of the four soldiers who died at Deepcut, left the court in tears.

She said: “It just shows what really happened down there. It beggars belief that he was sent to Deepcut, where all these young soldiers are based, after being court martialled for the first time.

“Some of the information about what happened to those boys was incredible for me to hear. It made me think that the same could have been happening to my son and that he may have been too afraid to say anything. You just never know.”

Skinner’s admission also shocked Des James, father of Pte Cheryl James who was found shot dead at the barracks in 1995.

Mr James said afterwards: “We are appalled that a non-commissioned officer at the Deepcut barracks has finally admitted to such serious offences against recruits between 1992 and 1997.

“It is without question a major embarrassment for those who would have had us believe that nothing was wrong at the camp and we find it difficult to believe that no other officers or members of staff would not have had even the slightest knowledge of what was going on.”

The four young recruits had been found shot dead at Deepcut barracks in separate incidents between 1995 and 2002. The Army concluded the deaths were all suicides, but the parents have always hotly disputed that.

During the police investigation, evidence of a culture of bullying and sexual harassment was revealed at the barracks, but until now there have been no prosecutions.

Skinner joined the Army in August 1974 and was made staff sergeant in 1989, a title he held when he went to Aldershot in the summer of 1992. He was then promoted to warrant officer in 1994.

Following the Northern Ireland incident, he was court martialled for a second time in February 1998 for indecently assaulting two young soldiers. He was sentenced to six months in Army prison before being dismissed.

An MoD spokesman said: “He was retained in the Army after the first court martial because the verdict did not sentence him to dismissal.”

He added: “Clearly, we recognise there is something wrong with that (sending Skinner to the Deepcut barracks as a training officer), and that is why we have now changed the procedures so that no one who had been court martialled for similar offences would be posted to training establishments.”

Skinner was given conditional bail until he is sentenced next month, however, Judge Charles Tilling warned him that a custodial sentence was “pretty much inevitable”.

The abuse at Deepcut only came to light when one of the victims watched a television programme on male rape and went to the police in November 2002 — six years after the assault had happened when he was just 18 years old.

He told police that Skinner, who was then in charge of the gym at the barracks, had forced him to have sex with him during the Christmas of 1996 when he was refused home leave as punishment for another matter.

Ms Howes told the court: “This young man speaks of the predicament he was in, but said because of the superior rank and the apparent authority that the defendant had over him, he felt in a position whereby he could do absolutely nothing about it.”

Police searched Skinner’s car and found photos of two soldiers he had abused hidden under the seat, which eventually led them to find the other three soldiers who had suffered abuse at his hands.

One soldier posted to Arnhem in 1992 when he was 17 was forced to strip naked to be whipped by Skinner.

Ms Howes said: “The victim and another soldier were told to meet him in a storeroom. They had been up to some sort of mischief and thought they were going to be punished for it.”

But when Skinner, of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, greeted them in the storeroom he brandished a riding crop before ordering the pair to strip.

Ms Howes said: “The soldier said: ‘I was worried, but at no stage considered leaving because the consequences of disobeying an order were far greater.’ ”

He asked him to stop but was told to “stop being a poof”.

Skinner persuaded another soldier, who was posted to Deepcut in 1997 when he was 17, to take part in sado-masochistic torture. He brought the recruit to the gym when it was closed in the evening and opened his locker to reveal canes and riding crops.

He then stripped naked and pulled out a work bench before lying on it and making the recruit whip him until he “drew blood”.



LeslieSkinner.jpg
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THE parents of Army recruits who died in mysterious circumstances have expressed their shock that an officer who was stripped of his rank for a sexual offence was sent to Deepcut as a training instructor to young recruits.

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LeslieSkinner.jpg



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ian neal
Angel - now passed away
Angel - now passed away


Joined: 26 Jul 2005
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those in UK

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07c6l27/deepcut-the-armys-shame
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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Joined: 13 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deepcut arguably more a case study example of how low the British judicial system has sunk as well as the army
SMASHING morale to smithereens
Perhaps that was always the point?

ian neal wrote:
For those in UK

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07c6l27/deepcut-the-armys-shame

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