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Merseyside cops hand over independent review of 1997 Wick harbour death case

Allan, Yvonne, June and Hugh Mcleod have been campaigning for years since Kevin's death.

Police in Merseyside have completed an independent review of the case of a man’s death in Wick in 1997.

The body of Kevin Mcleod was discovered in Wick Harbour on February 9 1997 – and his family have spent the subsequent years campaigning for his death to be investigated as a murder.

Police Scotland had asked Merseyside Police to carry out an independent review of the case, following complaints from Mr Mcleod’s family about the way the investigation was handled.

Mr Mcleod’s family’s concerns centre around injuries found on his body.

His clothing was also destroyed by police without being forensically examined.

In 2017 police chiefs finally admitted legacy force Northern Constabulary had not treated the death as murder, despite a specific instruction from prosecutors to do so.

Police have since apologised for failures in the handling of the case.

Kevin Mcleod.

The probe previously suffered a bizarre delay as investigators required an old-style cassette player to transcribe evidence from a historic fatal accident inquiry.

Now the Merseyside team, consisting of retired detectives and also serving officers, has completed its review and submitted it to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

Crown will ‘consider’ report

A statement released by Mr Mcleod’s family said: “We trust that Merseyside Police has carried out a meticulous investigation and hope that their independent report will finally provide us with the answers that we have been seeking for nearly 25 years.

“Hopefully justice will now prevail and the truth exposed to finally bring us some closure and to let Kevin rest in peace.”

A COPFS spokeswoman confirmed receipt of the review, which is understood to be 357 pages long and refer to around 1,300 source documents.

She said: “COPFS has received the findings of Merseyside Police’s independent review into the death of Kevin Mcleod.

“A great deal of work has gone into this document and we will need time to consider its contents.

“Senior prosecutors are in contact with the Mcleod family every six weeks and will keep them informed of the progress we make.

“When we have fully considered the review we will meet with the family to discuss the findings.”

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