Kevin Mcleod’s family accuse Crown Office of ‘dragging their heels’ over ‘unexplained death’

© DC ThomsonJune and Hugh McLeod, parents of Kevin, close to where he was found in Wick Harbour 21 years ago.
June and Hugh McLeod, parents of Kevin, close to where he was found in Wick Harbour 21 years ago.

The findings of the latest police probe into the “unexplained” death of Kevin Mcleod in Caithness is still being considered by the Crown Office – six months after being submitted by detectives.

Kevin’s frustrated parents, Hugh and June, accused prosecutors of “dragging their heels” and described their “torture” as they continue to “wait for answers” 22 years after the tragedy at Wick Harbour.

The family believe the 24-year-old electrician was murdered and have criticised how police have dealt with the case from the outset.

They received an apology from senior officers, but claim there has been a lack of action since “new witnesses” were interviewed last year.

Detectives interviewed 15 witnesses following “new information” into the death of Kevin.

The move was the result of an alleged eyewitness coming forward claiming he had heard a commotion, a splash and witnessed two people – who he said were police officers – watching Kevin struggle in the water in the early hours of February 8, 1997.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bell submitted a report into the latest investigation to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) almost six months ago.

He told the family: “I can advise that Police Scotland await further instruction from COPFS.  As soon as I have an update to pass in this regard I will of course update the family.”

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The COPFS said they have been keeping the family updated with developments.

Mr Mcleod said: “After 22 years the family’s nightmare for answers continues with the authorities again dragging their heels.

“The police have tortured us for 22 years with their lies and deceit and continue to torture us.

“All the agencie involved and those in public office ought to hang their heads in shame at how they have handled this case and treated the family in what can only be described as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of policing and justice in Scotland.

“We want to know are Police Scotland after a prolonged in-depth investigation about to make any arrests in connection with Kevin’s death, and is the COPFS about to charge any former/serving senior police officers with gross negligence and obstructing the course of justice.”

Police Scotland has previously admitted failing to act on the instruction at the time of the prosecutor to treat and investigate Kevin’s death as murder.

A COPFS spokesperson: “The Lord Advocate has instructed the Criminal Allegations Against the Police Division to independently review the investigation carried out following the death of Kevin Mcleod in February 1997, with a view to considering whether or not any further enquiries would be appropriate.

“The family continue to be kept up to date at regular intervals with any significant developments.”