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Tuesday, 18 December, 2001, 20:26 GMT
New probe into harbour death
Northern Police
Northern Police have ordered a new investigation
The family of a man found dead in a harbour have welcomed a decision by police to reinvestigate his death.

Kevin McLeod, 24, drowned in Wick harbour after a night out in February 1997.

He was found to have suffered massive internal injuries, but a sheriff concluded that there was not enough evidence to suggest they had come about as the result of an attack.

Northern Constabulary said on Tuesday that the chief constable of Central Scotland Police, Andrew Cameron, had been asked to re-examine the case

We have independent pathologist reports that show that he could not have sustained those injuries by simply falling, he must have been attacked

June McLeod
He will conduct an independent re-investigation of complaints made by the Mr McLeod¿s parents and also review the criminal investigation into the 24-year-old's death.

During the original investigation, police put Mr McLeod's injuries down to falling on a 3ft bollard before plunging into the harbour.

His parents, Hugh and June, rejected this and have always maintained that the injuries were not accidental.

They also expressed concern that no door-to-door enquiries were undertaken during the original police inquiry and have campaigned for the case to be reopened.

In March 2000, a lawyer acting for the family said Mr and Mrs McLeod had tracked down a new witness.

'Glimmer of hope'

He said the woman saw Mr McLeod being attacked on two separate occasions by a group of men on the night he died - once outside the Waterfront nightclub and again near the spot where his body was found.

The lawyer said that the woman was too scared to intervene when Mr McLeod called out for help and that she had remained silent for fear of possible repercussions.

Mrs McLeod, 49, said her family now hoped the new inquiry would provide the information they needed to "put their son to rest at peace".

Andrew Cameron
Andrew Cameron will conduct the probe
"We must have written about 16 complaints to police over the handling of our son's case and we now have a glimmer of hope that we will get some answers," she said.

"We have been pushed from pillar to post but will not give up until we find out exactly how Kevin died."

Mrs McLeod said her family had already spent more than £30,000 fighting for justice for their son.

"We have independent pathologist reports that show that he could not have sustained those injuries by simply falling, he must have been attacked," she said.

"We will not rest until that is accepted by police and the people responsible are found and punished."

She said that her family had received hate mail trying to put them off calling for further enquiries but they vowed to fight on.

Mrs McLeod added: "The very fact this case is being reinvestigated shows that there are people out there who agree with us and we have to take some solace from that.

"We don't care how long this takes but we hope the case is handled the right way and that all avenues are investigated."

See also:

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