Family of Kevin Mcleod hope Merseyside Police report will give them the answers they ‘have been seeking for nearly 25 years’

The family of a Caithness man whose body was found in Wick harbour in February 1997 hopes the completion of an independent police report into his death will give them the answers they “have been seeking for nearly 25 years”.

Kevin Mcleod’s parents, June and Hugh Mcleod and his uncle, Allan Mcleod, have been told the report by Merseyside Police has now been submitted to the Crown Office for its consideration.

The family believe the 24-year-old electrician was murdered after a night out in Wick due to the internal injuries on his body but the police – at that time under Northern Constabulary – claimed the death was the result of a tragic accident.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Allan Mcleod 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. In particular, we need to know has their investigation identified any potential suspects involved with Kevin’s death.

“Have they established why police ignored the [then] procurator fiscal’s instruction to investigate Kevin’s death as murder? Why did police immediately destroy Kevin’s clothing, and why were these serious failures hidden from the family by the authorities for two decades?

“It’s crucial that we also find out when the Crown Office were aware of these failures by police.”

Mr Mcleod added: “This is not only about the serious failures by the police but also serious failures by the Crown. The whole Scottish justice system failed us.”

He said the reason the police found no evidence of criminality is because they did not look for any, despite the fiscal’s instruction.

“No family in Britain should have to fight for truth and justice for nearly quarter of a century. It has drained us mentally, financially and emotionally.

“There needs to be accountability for failing to uphold standards in public office. The behaviour by both police and the Crown in this case was appalling. The family has suffered grievously as a consequence of their failure to achieve justice for us.”

The family, which had a three-hour meeting with two senior Crown officials in Wick last month, hopes the newly-appointed Lord Advocate will “apologise unreservedly for the past failings by the Crown office and its officials”.

Mr Mcleod described the former Northern Constabulary’s attitude towards the family as “institutionally corrupt”.

“The investigation into Kevin’s death was simply a scandal from the very outset. If there is no form of justice or accountability after Merseyside’s investigation then this will be a further scandal,” he added.

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

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