source: The Independent
published: 18 July 2018
A young soldier who took his own life at Deepcut barracks after being told he would be discharged from the British Army was failed by the military, a coroner has concluded.
Private Sean Benton, who fatally shot himself in 1995, may not have taken that action had his superiors offered him welfare support for emerging mental health issues, Peter Rook QC said.
Pte Benton, 20, died on 9 June 1995 with five bullet wounds to his chest at the Surrey military base, following episodes of verbal and physical violence from a senior member of staff, and at least one attack by fellow juniors.
Coroner Peter Rook QC said a campaign by Pte Benton’s family to hold a second inquest – 23 years after the first – was “vindicated” after exposing failures at the base.
Speaking outside Woking Coroner’s Court, the soldier’s family said they would ask the police to open a criminal investigation into the death.