Monday, October 22, 2007

Scotland's Crown Office gets away with murder - failing justice system fails everyone

If there's one common constant in politics or law, its the policy that if one fails, one has to lie to cover it up, and no amount of lies can be spared to cover it up, engaging anyone, ones colleagues, whole departments, even a few politicians, to sweep things under the carpet.

You don't need me to tell you that - you already know it.

Politics & Law go hand in hand, in each other's pockets, often with the same individuals appearing in both, lying for both, sometimes challenging the other, but inevitably pursuing their own ends, which more often than not conflict with the public interest.

We live in Scotland, a country which aspires to be more than it is, as any country does. A country which professes to be honest, but sadly is not. A country which claims to have an honest accountable justice system, but does not. A country which constantly tells us we are treated better than anyone else with rights, freedoms & values which many would die for .. but when we need those rights, freedoms or values, they are simply ... not there.

Our First Minister, Alex Salmond, wants Scotland to have a place at the UN, but we have a justice system worthy of a banana republic. We can't even look after our own people, nevermind poke our nose into what anyone else is doing or touting high standards of living when we don't have them ourselves. Okay .. ask for representation at the UN, Mr Salmond, but clean up our act first before you do so, because simply, we are not yet worthy if we have no justice in our land.

While we can't even treat the living well enough, Scotland's justice system treats the dead even worse, and that common constant between politics & law comes back to haunt us yet again, as the Crown Office, and even Police, wriggle their way out of providing decent investigations into suspicious deaths, claiming they did their best, when they did nothing, or actually made it worse.

As far as the Crown Office is concerned, when it is caught out in an investigation, or found to have failed in carrying out a proper investigation, lies and cover up is the order of the day. Even when a life is taken, lies still reign supreme in Scotland's prosecution service, and it seems, certain sections of the Police who would rather cover up their failures than broadcast them for all to see.

Here are two stories from Scottish Law Reporter, referring to weekend reports in the Sunday Mail newspaper. A sad indictment of the way Scotland treats the dead, the families they leave behind, and it seems, allows murderers to escape justice, simply because the Crown just can't be bothered to do the job it was put there to do ...

Mr MacAskill ? Where is Justice in Scotland today ?

Northern Constabulary guilty of failures of investigation in unexplained Wick Harbour death

A report compiled four years ago by Andrew Cameron, chief constable of Central Police into Northern Constabulary's investigation into the death of 24 year old Kevin McLeod, and kept secret until now, reveals a disgraceful catalogue of errors on the part of Northern Constabulary which remain without explanation.

The incident, investigated by Northern Constabulary as a 'sudden death', although long thought to be a murder, raises significant questions over the performance of both the Police & Crown Office, where it also comes to light the opinion of one of the prosecutors , Procurator Fiscal Alasdair MacDonald, who believed the death of Kevin McLeod to be suspicious, was left out of the report ....

Kevin Mcleod's family await not only an apology, but a proper investigation and accounting of what happened to their son.

The Sunday Mail reports :

Blunder Cops Rapped Over Dead Clubber

Oct 21 2007 By Marion Scott

Exclusive: Police Chief Accuses Officers Of 'Inexplicable' Errors In Harbour Death Probe

A SENIOR police officer has found colleagues guilty of "inexplicable" blunders in their investigation of a 24-year-old clubber's death.

Kevin McLeod's grieving family are convinced three men battered him to death and dumped him in Wick Harbour.

Now for the first time an official police report reveals damning evidence that Northern Constabulary were wrong to dismiss Keith's death as accidental.

The report by Andrew Cameron, chief constable of Central Police, was kept under wraps for four years and only released after pressure from Kevin's family.

It slams Northern for not apologising to the family and calls for a shake-up in the way they investigate sudden deaths.

Mistakes highlighted by the Cameron report include:

Failing to realise the significance of diamond-shaped marks on Kevin's body even after a procurator fiscal instructed them to treat the death as suspicious.

Failing to keep the clothes worn by Kevin at the time of his death as evidence.

Failing to photograph and record Kevin's injuries properly. Electrician Kevin, 24, was found dead in Wick harbour 10 years ago after a night out at the town's Waterfront Club.

His father Hugh and mother June have battled to prove he was murdered and not the victim of a tragic accident as police insist.

His spleen, liver and pancreas were ruptured and he lost so much blood he would have been unable to get up on his own.

The Cameron inquiry calls for Northern to review management of suspicious deaths, training and staffing.

Cameron stated: "The failure of the force to seize, retain and submit for examination the clothing worn by KevinMcLeod remains inexplicable."

He added: "The efficiency with which photographic evidence of injury was initially instructed and secured and subsequently assessed over a period of three years is open to question.

"It is not helped by what appears to be a lack of acknowledgement by the force and the Department of Pathology, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness as to the potential significance of the "diamond" pattern mark on the body of Kevin McLeod." Cameron concluded:

"It is this inquiry's view that had the existence and significance of the marks been properly recognised, the investigation may well have been directed differently.

"It is the conclusion of this inquiry that the McLeod family are entitled to an apology from Northern Constabulary over the patent lack of communication of their complaints."

The Cameron report was completed in 2003 but only given to the family this year following a freedom of information request.

A second investigation into Northern's handling of the case by the new Police Complaints Comissioner Jim Martin is expected later this year.

Kevin's uncle Allan McLeod, 49, said: "Even though the Cameron Report supports everything we've known for 10 years, we do not believe anyone will ever be brought to justice for killing Kevin.

"We know the names of three men we believe were responsible for Kevin's death.

"But we have not one shred of confidence that the police will ever do anything about it because they do not want to admit they are wrong.

"We have not received any proper apology from the force."

Northern Constabulary said: "As a result of this independent inquiry, all issues raised by the McLeod family have been dealt with.

"Consideration was given to where improvements could be made and these have been implemented.

"The case has been subject to a great deal of scrutiny and the chief constable will not be reopening the inquiry."

Riddle Of Prosecutor Whose Evidence Was Ignored

Oct 21 2007

Exclusive: Police Chief Accuses Officers Of 'Inexplicable' Errors In Harbour Death Probe

ONE man's verdict on whether Kevin was murdered is missing from the Cameron report.

The victim's family believe Procurator Fiscal Alasdair MacDonald could be key to mounting a case - but he was not interviewed by Chief Constable Cameron. Kevin's uncle Allan McLeod said: "We're incensed that the very man who believed Kevin's death was suspicious was missed out of this report.

"He should have been the first person to be interviewed and the fact he wasn't can only raise our suspicions of a cover-up."

Central Police said questions on the Cameron Report should be answered by the Northern Joint Police Board.

But the Northern Joint Police Board insisted they were "unable to comment".

In the report, Cameron claims MacDonald was "unavailable" to be interviewed. But in a further twist MacDonald has written to the McLeod family saying he would have been happy to co-operate.

He wrote: "Whilst I have no wish to add to the controversy surrounding this matter, I fear I must. I cannot imagine upon what possible basis I could be described as unavailable for interview.

"Despite researches, neither my office manager nor I have any recollection of any contact by the author of this report."

The Crown Office said they did not have "anything further to add" to MacDonald's comments.

Crown Office offer untenable explanations over Annie Borjesson death, withholds evidence & FAI

The Crown Office, who can always be depended upon to lie through their teeth when caught out in an investigation, have offered up the poorest explanation of anomalies to the family of Annie Borjesson, who died at Prestwick in December 2005.

When the body of the young swedish woman was returned to her family, Guje Borjesson questioned why her daughters hair had been hacked off, only to be now told it was the undertakers who did it, allegedly to present the body in better circumstances.

The death of Annie Borjesson, which has not yet received a Fatal Accident Inquiry, despite a complete lack of explanation for the death, raises many questions of why the Crown Office have been covering up what seem to be a catalogue of failures on their part, and of the Police investigation into the death, which has seen little or no accountability of events.

The family of Annie Borjesson await a proper inquiry & investigation into their daughters death and release of all the evidence in the case, along with CCTV footage, still under possession of the Crown.

The family's website for a campaign for an investigation into Annie's death can be found here :

The Sunday Mail reports :

Undertakers Hack Off Annie's Locks

Oct 21 2007 By Marion Scott

Exclusive Mum Of Death Riddle Daughter Wanted To Buy Wig For Corpse

THE body of a Swedish woman who died in Scotland was sent home with her waist-length hair hacked off.

Annie Borjesson's mum is convinced her hair was chopped by her killer.

But the Crown Office have revealed it was cut by funeral staff who did not want the family to see it matted in mud and debris from the sea.

Police say Annie, 30, drowned herself at Prestwick beach.

But mum Guje, 54, who lives near Gothenburg with husband Karoly, said: "The funeral staff said they cut her hair but I don't believe they would have taken it like that. It was roughly hacked off.

"It looked so bad I even considered getting a wig because I knew she would not want to be left like that.

"My daughter had never cut her hair in her life."

The Crown Office said: "It was cut while preparing the body for transfer."

Pathologist Dr Alan J Cromie said: "The hair gets matted or dirty in drowning cases and funeral staff try to present the body as best they can for the family."

Musician Annie came to Edinburgh two years ago and worked at the city's Scottish Whisky Heritage Centre.

Her body was found on December 4, 2005. Her family didn't believe it was suicide and offered a £10,000 reward for information.

The Crown Office added: "There has been a full probe into the death. There is no evidence of a crime."


JK said...

Agree with you 100% Pete.

Anonymous said...

"There is no evidence of a crime" - must be the new byword for LIES from Angiolini & the rest of them.Sick.

Al said...

Another great article Peter.

Still the deafening silence about these appalling cases (and many other well-known cases of Scottish injustice) from Messrs Salmond and MacAskill. And these "great and good men" charged with Scotland's (in)justice system too. God help Scotland...

Their inaction over these very tragic and suspicious deaths is TRULY DISGUSTING.

The link's not on your post to Annie's site Peter (you may alter accordingly), so readers can now find it below with a couple of others:


Who killed Annie?

Annie Borgesson website and Guestbook


Death of Kevin McLeod


McKie Forum

Peter Cherbi said...

#Al @10.47pm

Thanks for pointing that out, article updated with link.

Anonymous said...

rather than take sides in this story I hope both families will one day get peace and a decent explanation of what happened to their loved ones

Anonymous said...

last comment says it all hope the family are able to get justice in both cases and some peace of mind not much to ask ?

Anonymous said...
surprised no comment from you yet !
If I knew where the poll was I would nominate you !