Deepcut Barrack suicides
The families of four young British Army recruits who died in mysterious circumstances at Deepcut Barracks hold tributes at the first public inquiry in 2006Reuters

New material at a pre-inquest hearing suggested the 18-year-old may have been 'sexually coerced or raped the night before, or before the time of her death'. Lawyers representing the family of Private Cheryl James who died over 20 years ago want the new hearing to be widened to take into account new testimony to shed light on her state of mind.

Alison Foster QC, representing James' family spoke at a hearing at Woking Coroner's Crown Court: "There is now a direct allegation that Cheryl might have been ordered to sleep with the person we are calling Witness A by someone superior in rank to her."

She added: "This is not fraternising. This is not an illicit sexual relationship between two young people across the ranks. This is something quite different."

The barrister also told the coroner that she would present evidence of "manipulation within the chain of command" at the new inquest and also a system of "pimping".

Private James was found with a bullet wound to her skull in November 1995 when she was taking part in training at Deepcut barracks, Surrey. The body of James was exhumed in August 2015 and a post-mortem examination was carried out. Metallic fragments were recovered which have been analysed by a ballistics expert.

Four soldiers have died at the barracks between 1995 and 2002 with claims of abuse and bullying. Privates Sean Benton, James Collinson and Geoff Gray also died from gunshot wounds. A ballistics expert for the families of the four deceased claimed in 2003 that it was unlikely that any of the soldiers had shot themselves, according to Mail Online.

The Ministry of Defence now has to disclose all its material to Private James' family. A previous hearing in December heard it failed to submit vital documents before a deadline.

The full inquest is expected to last seven weeks and will consider whether a third party was involved in James's death and to ascertain what happened on the night of her death.

James' parents, Des and Doreen James, do not accept the theory that their daughter committed suicide using her own rifle and have fought for 20 years for the truth surrounding her death.