Murder case detectives hold soldier after death of private

Cahal Milmo
Tuesday 19 November 2002 01:00

A soldier was being held by police on suspicion of murder yesterday after a 23-year-old private was found unconscious in an Army barracks near Southampton. Private Andrew Dobson was discovered by a comrade on Sunday evening in his room at Marchwood Barracks on the edge of the Hampshire port.

The soldier, serving in the Royal Logistics Corps, died an hour later at Southampton General Hospital from undisclosed injuries. The results of a post-mortem examination are expected today. A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: "A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He is also in the military and is helping us with our inquiries."

Part of the housing block remained sealed as forensic science officers searched.

Pte Dobson, who was single and from Dumfries, was a port operator in the 17 Port & Maritime Regiment. He had been based at the Marchwood barracks for 18 months, and had been deployed to Kosovo, Greece and most recently the Falkland Islands in his six years with the Army.

A series of fatalities at Army quarters has raised concern about bullying and violence in the Armed Forces. Police confirmed this month that officers had interviewed a soldier in connection with the deaths of four recruits from gunshot wounds at the Deepcut barracks in Surrey, where the Royal Logistics Corps trains.

Detectives reopened inquiries after families complained that the shootings, explained as suicides by the Army, had not been properly investigated by the military authorities. Other families have now joined the calls for an independent inquiry into the reported suicides of relatives in the military.