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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 17:21 GMT
Officer faces Wick death hearing
Wick Harbour
Kevin McLeod's body was found in Wick harbour
A senior police officer involved in the investigation into the death of a Wick man is to face a disciplinary hearing.

Northern Constabulary's Deputy Chief Constable Keith Cullen, who is due to retire from the force next Friday, will have to answer criticism over his handling of complaints made by the family of Kevin McLeod.

The 24-year-old was found to have suffered massive internal injuries when his body was pulled from Wick Harbour in February 1997.

Northern Constabulary concluded that his death was accidental but his family believe he was murdered.

An independent review by Andrew Cameron, Chief Constable of Central Scotland Police, was launched after Mr McLeod's family complained about the police investigation.

On Tuesday, the Northern Joint Police Board said that one of the senior officers involved in the original investigation would be called before a misconduct hearing to answer charges arising from the family's complaints.

A second officer who was also the subject of Mr Cameron's investigation was cleared by the board's investigation report sub-committee after it decided "there was no evidence of wilful misconduct".

Impending retirement

The rulings followed consultation with an independent solicitor who advised the board on whether the two officers had any case to answer under the police regulations.

However, Mr McLeod's uncle Allan fears the deputy chief constable may never face a misconduct hearing because of his impending retirement.

He said: "He may never be held accountable for his actions which I think is terrible.

"There is a chance that he will retire and walk away with a full pension without any hearing into his actions taking place."



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