Coroner appointed for Private Sean Benton inquest

A coroner has been appointed to lead a fresh inquest into a Hastings soldier who died while undergoing training at Deepcut barracks over two decades ago.

Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 11:25 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:53 am
sean Benton Deepcut Barrack private MAYOAK0003423322

His Honour Judge Peter Rook QC has been nominated to be the judge-coroner who will conduct the investigation and inquest into the death of Private Sean Benton.

In October last year, the High Court ordered a fresh inquest, following requests from Sean’s siblings, represented by Liberty.

The application was made possible only after their mother Linda Benton, who died in 2015, used the Human Rights Act to access reams of evidence held by Surrey Police about his death.

Sean, 20, was found with five bullet wounds to his chest on 9 June 1995 – one day after he had been told he was to be discharged from the Army.

He was the first of four young soldiers to die of gunshot wounds at the Surrey barracks between 1995 and 2002.

The decision to hold a fresh inquest follows the conclusion of a fresh inquest into the death of Private Cheryl James, which exposed the toxic, unsafe and sexualised environment in which Cheryl, Sean and other Deepcut recruits lived.

The inquest is expected to take place in Surrey, but a date has yet to be set.

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