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Last Updated:  Friday, 4 April, 2003, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Anger at halt to death inquiry
Wick harbour
Kevin McLeod died at Wick harbour
The family of a 24-year-old man found dead in Wick Harbour six years ago have vowed to continue their campaign for a fresh inquiry into his death.

Kevin McLeod's family have refused to accept Northern Constabulary's decision to draw a line under the matter.

A fatal accident inquiry concluded that Mr McLeod's death was an accident but his family has consistently maintained he was killed and police mishandled the investigation.

Mr McLeod's body was recovered from Wick harbour in February 1997, the morning after he had spent a night out drinking. He had suffered massive internal injuries.

I am saddened that the family does not acknowledge the commitment made by my officers to leave no stone unturned
Chief Constable Ian Latimer
The force carried out an investigation into how complaints from the family were handled by the Highland's recently retired deputy chief constable

Keith Cullen was told he would face disciplinary action over the way he handled those complaints.

But he retired and the police board ruled he could not face disciplinary action, even though it said there was a case to answer in respect of allegations.

Alan Macleod, Kevin's uncle, said the police must reinvestigate the death.

However, Northern Constabulary's chief constable, Ian Latimer, said his force had looked into more than 60 complaints against 11 officers and it was time to end the investigation.

Mr Latimer said Mr McLeod's parents, Hugh and Jane, had made "unsubstantiated allegations" and he was "saddened" by the family's attitude to the investigation.

Kevin McLeod
The family say Mr McLeod was murdered
He told reporters: "There is no conspiracy. There is no cover up."

"Both I and the area procurator fiscal are satisfied that there are no credible outstanding lines of inquiry, nor is there any evidence to substantiate any allegation of criminality in the tragic death of Kevin McLeod.

"I would wish to reiterate that the death of Kevin McLeod was a tragic death and a sad loss for the family.

"I am saddened that the family does not acknowledge the commitment made by my officers to leave no stone unturned."

'Fully investigated'

Mr Latimer added: "As chief constable I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that whatever action either I or my officers take, Mr and Mrs McLeod will not accept any outcome which differs from their unsubstantiated allegations. So be it."

The family's lawyer, Cameron Fyfe, called for police to investigate a probation officer who allegedly told the family there was evidence that Mr McLeod had been assaulted.

He said: "The position of the family is that either that allegation should be fully investigated, preferably by an independent police force, or the probation officer should be charged with wasting police time.

"It would be difficult to raise a claim against the police themselves, because you have to show there has been malice rather than just negligence."

Eric Crockart report
"His grieving parents believe Kevin was murdered."

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18 Dec 01  |  Scotland

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