Cheryl James & The Deepcut Truth
You may have seen this picture of Private Cheryl James on the news over the years. You may not know what is happening now. Please take a moment to read her shocking story.
Cheryl died from a gunshot wound to the head at Deepcut Army Barracks in 1995. She was 18 years old. The inquest held at the time recorded an open verdict.
In July 2014 two judges declared that the original inquest (held 3 weeks after Cheryl’s death for less than 1 hour behind closed doors) was insufficient. They overturned it.
75% of the evidence relating to Cheryl’s case was released by Surrey Police after many years of her family battling to see it, and only after Surrey Police were threatened with legal action if they did not.
Surrey Police said that the remaining 25% of the evidence regarding Cheryl’s case would be released to her family by Easter. As at today that evidence still has not been released. Why not?
Already in the public domain, the facts we know are as follows:
1. There is no evidence whatsoever to connect the rifle at the scene with Cheryl’s death
2. No fingerprints were collected from the rifle
3. Bullet fragments allegedly collected at post mortem were subsequently lost
4. Remaining ammunition in the rifle found at the scene was inexplicably destroyed
5. The clothing Cheryl was wearing at the time of her death was never forensically examined
6. There is now reason to believe that the case involved sexual assault.
Unbelievably, that’s not all.
At the long-awaited new inquest pre-hearing on December 1st 2014, lawyers for Cheryl’s family asked that her body be exhumed and re-examined by a pathologist for further evidence.
But at the second pre-inquest hearing on February 27 2015, Surrey Police asked that the inquest be delayed until 3 other families also obtained disclosure of evidence as Cheryl’s family had done, and also got their original inquests overturned. So that all the inquests into the deaths of 4 young people over a 6 year period could be joined and heard together. Why?
This idea has never been proposed by Surrey Police before. It came completely out of the blue.
Remember it took Cheryl’s family 10 years to get permission from the High Court for disclosure of evidence, and a further 3 years to get 75% of the evidence from Surrey Police. Only then could they get the original inquest overturned. How long do you suppose it would take 3 other families with 3 different cases to do the same?
A one month adjournment was ordered by the judge so that Surrey Police’s request for what could be a delay of 10 years or more could be considered. Despite the proposal being opposed by 3 of the families.
At the end of the one month adjournment, Surrey Police’s legal representation declared themselves ‘unavailable’ to continue the hearing which means another delay until at least May 19th 2015. Why?
This fresh inquest into Cheryl’s death was ordered by the High Court in July 2014. As it is, the proper inquest into Cheryl’s death which should have happened in the first place is already almost 20 years too late. More delays? Really?
We believe no parent should have to go through this. We believe that the seemingly endless delays need to stop and the fresh inquest into Cheryl’s death should start NOW.
Surely this is the very least that Cheryl’s family deserve after battling for so long to find out the truth about what happened to their daughter. If you agree, please share this post with your friends and follow our page which contains further information about this and the other deaths at Deepcut Barracks.
Editors note: These words are republished with permission from friends of Cheryl’s family. The source is here. Please visit the page and share the post.
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