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Sunday, 19 March, 2000, 14:56 GMT
New witness may prompt police inquiry
A Northern Constabulary inquiry produced no evidence of foul play
The lawyer of a couple who have fought for three years to find the truth behind their 24-year-old son's death has expressed his optimism after a new witness emerged.

Cameron Fyfe, who represents June and Hugh McLeod from Wick, believes the woman could provide the "missing link" needed to establish foul play was involved in the death of Kevin McLeod.

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

Cameron Fyfe
Cameron Fyfe: Optimistic
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.

Police put the injuries down to Mr McLeod falling on a three-foot bollard before plunging into the harbour.

The new witness, tracked down by the McLeods, says she saw Kevin being attacked on two separate occasions by a group of men on the night he died, once outside the Waterfront nightclub, and once near the spot where his body was found.

She says he called out for help but she was too scared to do anything, adding that she has remained silent until now for fear of the possible repurcussions.

This was always the missing link and I would hope the police will now reinvestigate the case

Cameron Fyfe, family lawyer

Mr Fyfe spoke of the effort the family has put in since their son's death to gather further evidence in an attempt to have the police reopen their investigation.

He said: "The McLeods have tried endlessly to ascertain what happened to their son that night but there was never any evidence about an assault at the harbour where he tragically drowned.

"It would now appear that this witness saw an assault at the harbour, so this is vital evidence.

"This was always the missing link and I would hope that the police will now reinvestigate the case and the McLeods hope that criminal charges would follow from that."

Violent crime

Mr Fyfe added that he had written to the police, but was still awaiting a reply.

However, he said he was confident that, in light of the strength of the new evidence that they would reopen the inquiry.

"If they did not," he said, "we could always ask for the Fatal Accident Inquiry to be reopened and I can also make a claim for criminal injuries compensation because I think we can now show that Kevin died as a result of a violent crime."

He said the family was unhappy with the original police inquiry, in particular that no door-to-door inquiries had taken place and that no senior officer had been involved in the matter.

"They will always hope that some witness might come forward, and now that has happened, I think they're overjoyed that there is evidence to this effect and that, eventually, criminal charges might follow," he added.
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