Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Thursday, October 8, 1998 Published at 20:21 GMT 21:21 UK


UK

We got it wrong, police tell family



A police force has apologised after wrongly suspecting a teenage footballer's brothers of murdering him.

In the end a complete stranger was jailed for life for the murder of 15-year-old Lawrence Haggart, who played for Glasgow Celtic's youth team.

Central Scotland Police said on Thursday the Haggart family "expected and should have received a much better performance" from the investigation team.

Lawrence was beaten to death and left in his blazing home in Larbert, near Falkirk, on 18 March 1996.

'Wrong focus'

Police immediately suspected his brothers Dennis and John.

Deputy Chief Constable Mike Currie visited the family's home on Thursday and explained to the boy's parents and two brothers what action the force has taken since they complained.

A statement issued by the force said: "A murder investigation was carried out under the direction of Detective Superintendent James Winning, which wrongly focused upon members of the Haggart family.

"A subsequent investigation led by Detective Superintendent Joseph Holden resulted in the arrest and later conviction of Brian Beattie."


[ image: Dennis Canavan MP: 'Family went through hell']
Dennis Canavan MP: 'Family went through hell'
Local MP Dennis Canavan, who has strongly criticised the force's handling of the case, said: "That family has been through absolute hell.

"Not only have they suffered the loss of a son and brother, the police who originally investigated the case virtually accused Lawrence's two brothers of being involved in the murder."

Lawrence's father, also called Lawrence, told BBC Scotland: "They should all be sacked. The mayhem they caused to the family, especially the two boys, to me ... They've got off too lightly."

Mr Haggart welcomed the apology and said: "There was never any doubt that it was not Denis or John that murdered Lawrence and I think Mr Currie stated that in his statement so we're very happy with that."

Beattie, who had convictions for burglary and arson, was jailed for life in April. A judge recommended he serve at least 15 years.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England
In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online