The High Court has quashed an open verdict that was made in 1995 into the death of Private Cheryl James, one of four soldiers who died amid bullying claims. There is to be a fresh inquest into her death following the ruling in the High Court today.

Private James, who was 18 at the time of her death, died from a single gunshot wound in November 1995 at the Surrey barracks during training. She was one of four soldiers who died between 1995 and 2002 amid claims of bullying and abuse.

With the help of human rights campaign group Liberty, her parents applied for a new inquest with the consent of the Attorney General. The Human Rights Act was used to secure access to documents held by the authorities about her death.

It is hoped that the fresh inquest will see a more rigorous and transparent approach in establishing the circumstances surrounding Private James’ death.

Inquests surrounding the deaths of those in the military can be extremely challenging for families who are grieving for their loved one. Investigation reports, expert reports and witness evidence can be extremely technical and overwhelming. Families often require the assistance and expertise of legal professionals to guide them through the process to ensure that their interests are properly represented. Here at Farleys we will only ever instruct the most experienced Counsel and will work closely with them to ensure that the interests of the family are at the heart of the inquest.

For further information about the inquest process, or to speak to one of our specialist inquest lawyers who regularly act in inquests concerning the deaths of UK soldiers or those who have died whilst in the care of the state, please get in touch.