A high profile former Lord Advocate carrying out a major police complaints handling probe is to meet the parents of Kevin Mcleod, who died in mysterious circumstances at a Highland harbour.
Dame Elish Angiolini is to travel to Wick to take evidence from Hugh and June Mcleod, who firmly believe their 24-year-old electrician son was murdered at the town’s harbour 22 years ago.
The invitation to meet has been warmly welcomed by the Mcleods, who still seek answers to “end our torture”.
Police Scotland has given the family “unreserved apology” for “serious failings” in the initial investigation by legacy force Northern Constabulary, including a decision not to investigate the death as murder despite being instructed to do so by prosecutors.
Kevin’s uncle Allan Mcleod, said: “The mishandling of complaints by the police in our case had, after 20 years, led to the current Lord Advocate instructing a complete review of the case, of which we still await the outcome.
“Kevin’s parents welcome the opportunity to discuss the previous failings of the police investigation into this tragedy, particularly the decision to ignore a direction from prosecutors to investigate the death as murder as well as destroying his clothes – which would be vital evidence in such an investigation.”
The body of Kevin, 24, was recovered from Wick harbour on February 9, 1997, after a night out with friends.
The family believe a pathologist report showing Kevin suffered massive internal injuries consistent with being kicked several hours prior to his drowning was ignored.
The Mcleods have urged the Crown Office to reveal the results of its latest cold case review of the case, which was instructed more than one year ago by the current Lord Advocate, James Wolffe.
Dame Elish Angiolini QC is reviewing the processes for handling complaints against the police and investigating serious incidents and alleged misconduct.
The independent review, jointly commissioned by former Justice Secretary Michael Matheson and the Lord Advocate, will assess the current framework and report on the effectiveness of structures, operational responsibilities and processes.
It will also make recommendations for improvements to ensure the system is fair, transparent, accountable and proportionate, in order to strengthen public confidence in policing in Scotland.
In a letter to Kevin’s parents, Dame Elish said: “I have already received and talked to individuals who have been personally affected by complaints handling, investigations and misconduct issues.
“If you would like to contribute to the review on this basis, I would be very happy to have a discussion with you about your views.”
The family has accepted the invitation and Dame Elish has agreed to travel to their home in Wick, for which a date is still to be set.