MARIO O'BRIEN Clarke, a soldier from the Deepcut army barracks in Surrey, was shot dead in Hackney, east London, on Boxing Day. Clarke was the fifth soldier from the barracks to die in suspicious circumstances since 1995.
Geoff Gray, James Collinson, Sean Benton and Cheryl James all died from gunshot wounds at the Deepcut barracks. The army originally claimed that they all committed suicide. Pressure from the families has forced Surrey police to reopen investigations into all the deaths. Operation Trident, the police unit set up to investigate 'black on black' killings is in charge of the case. Clarke was black and it is believed the killer was black.
The families of other Deepcut victims are urging the police to look at the murder in relation to the deaths of their children. 'It's a bit too close for comfort for my liking,' Geoff Gray, the father of Private Gray, told Socialist Worker.
'It's strange that we've had four deaths at Deepcut and now there's another one in similar circumstances near where I live in Hackney. I don't think the police should just dismiss it as a 'black on black' killing. Surrey police need to have a look at it. It's really suspicious-why on earth would a soldier from Deepcut be shot in Hackney?'