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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 13:59 GMT
Rory killer's bail move defended
Rory Blackhall
Rory Blackhall was killed last August
Scotland's senior prosecutor has defended the decision to give bail to the man who went on to kill West Lothian schoolboy Rory Blackhall.

Lord Advocate Colin Boyd said although Simon Harris had been accused of offences against three girls, there was nothing to necessitate him being held.

He added that if Harris had not killed himself, police had enough information to arrest him for murdering Rory.

The 11-year-old's body was found in Livingston, West Lothian, last August.

The news comes as Scotland's law chief ruled out a public inquiry into Rory's death.

Family welcome decision

In a statement, Rory's parents Michelle and Russell Blackhall said the decision not to hold an inquiry brought them "peace of mind".

"The procurator fiscal has kept us informed throughout his investigation. We are satisfied that he has answered all our questions about the circumstances of Rory's death, " the statement said.

"It is our clear view that there is nothing to be gained by holding a fatal accident inquiry.

"Such a public process would inevitably have caused considerable further distress for our family.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank Lothian and Borders Police for their professionalism and sensitivity throughout this investigation."

The thorough investigation which is formally brought to a close has shown that nothing the police could have done could possibly have saved Rory's life
Lothian and Borders Police
spokesman

Rory went missing after being dropped off near Meldrum Primary School on 18 August.

The alarm was only raised when his grandfather arrived to collect him at the end of the school day. The youngster was found dead in woodland three days later.

Simon Harris, 37, was later found dead by officers from Lothian and Borders Police as they searched his home in connection with the murder.

He had been on bail while facing sex abuse charges against three girls.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "Our thoughts are with those most directly affected by these tragic events.

"In particular we would like to thank Mr and Mrs Blackhall and their family for their patience and co-operation throughout this inquiry and their acknowledgement of the work of the force and individual officers.

"Our regret is that they have had to live through these appalling circumstances."

He added: "The thorough investigation which is formally brought to a close has shown that nothing the police could have done could possibly have saved Rory's life.

"Tragically, it has been established that Rory died shortly after he disappeared."


SEE ALSO:
Funeral service for murdered Rory
16 Sep 05 |  Scotland
Harris 'was prime Rory suspect'
14 Sep 05 |  Scotland
Sex offender register reform call
31 Aug 05 |  Scotland
Rory case lessons 'to be learned'
30 Aug 05 |  Scotland
Rory search man faced sex charges
29 Aug 05 |  Scotland


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