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Deepcut barracks had bully culture; Report could spark inquiry into deaths.

Byline: STEVE BAGNALL

A POLICE report due to be published this week is expected to reveal a sinister culture of bullying at the controversial Deepcut Barracks.

Des James believes the document will vindicate the claims of families,and hopes it may spark a public inquiry. His daughter,Pvt Cheryl James, was found shot dead at the Army camp in 1995.

On Thursday,Surrey Police will publish the results of an investigation into practices at Deepcut. It is understood the report will be highly critical of the Army and will call for the Ministry of Defence to change its practices to protect young recruits.

Pvt James,from Llangollen, was one of four young soldiers found shot dead at the barracks in mysterious circumstances.

``I am confident that the report will absolutely vindicate the families,and what we have been saying for the last two years and a half years, that there has been a sinister culture of bullying at the Deepcut camp in the mid 1990s,'' said Mr James,of Llanymynech. ``I just hope that somebody in the armed forces will have the humility or the courage to apologise to the families and support the call for a public inquiry.''

An MoD spokeswoman said there would be no comment until the report is released.

Following an earlier investigation, Surrey Police concluded there was no evidence of third party involvement in the four soldiers' deaths.

Mr James said: ``I am confident that there is a stack of evidence that shows something was very wrong at Deepcut.''

Mr James and the other three families will receive a copy of the report 24 hours before it is made public.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 1, 2004
Words:275
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