The Army has issued an apology during an inquiry over failings that contributed to the tragic death of Pte Sean Benton at the Deepcut Barracks.
Brig Chris Coles addressed Pte Benton’s sister, Tracy Lewis, and twin brother Tony at Woking Coroner’s Court before being taken through a statement he made in November.
He told the family: “The statement acknowledges quite a number of things that could and should have been better at the time of Sean’s death.
“The set-up of Deepcut and the ratio of instructors and trainees was not as it should have been and not as it would be now, and that led to the risk that people in training in Deepcut… their welfare was not properly attended to in the way it should have been, and for that I’m very sorry.”
The inquest is due to last until Easter with evidence being given by over 150 witnesses. This is the second inquest over the death after the original verdict of suicide was quashed. Pte Benton died with five gunshot wounds to his chest while on guard at the Deepcut training barracks in 1995. He was the first of four deaths, all in similar circumstances between 1995 and 2002.