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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2006, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Probe into murder suspect holiday
Bryan Drummond
Bryan Drummond died in February
A review has been launched into the decision to allow a 16-year-old murder suspect to go on holiday while on bail.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused with three others of punching and kicking Bryan Drummond, 51, to death in Kilmarnock.

A court relaxed his bail conditions to allow him to go on holiday with his family to Bulgaria.

First Minister Jack McConnell said prosecutors had been asked to examine the case and produce a report.

Mr Drummond's son Eric said the decision was "beyond belief".

He said: "You are just getting to grips with the fact you've lost a dad.

"Words can't describe how we're feeling now.

Eric Drummond
Words can't describe how we're feeling now
Eric Drummond

"For a case as serious as this, I think remanded in custody is the only option until the trial."

The case was raised in the Scottish Parliament by Kilmarnock and Loudon MSP Margaret Jamieson, who asked Mr McConnell whether he shared the "astonishment" of Mr Drummond's family.

The first minister told her: "The area procurator fiscal for Ayrshire has been asked to review all of the circumstances and provide a report in this case and the Crown is currently considering more generally whether guidance is sufficiently robust in such cases."

'Public rights'

He said the Criminal Proceedings Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament would tighten the law on bail.

"The lord advocate will then subsequently ensure that new guidance is put in place that secures the implementation of these new provisions, and at the same time their more consistent application across Scotland," said Mr McConnell.

The Scottish National Party said the case brought the Scottish Executive's bail policy into disrepute.

The party's justice spokesman Kenny McAskill told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "The fact of the matter is a life has been taken, the police have investigated and the fiscal has brought a charge of murder.

Bail conditions

"Our view in the SNP is that this person should be behind bars, not in Bulgaria.

"There are rights for the public, not just for the accused. We need a review of bail."

Crown Office spokesman confirmed that the local procurator fiscal had been asked to provide a report on the case.

He said the court had temporarily relaxed the bail conditions to allow him to attend a pre-booked family holiday.

"The decision to vary bail conditions, in this case to allow the accused to go on holiday, is a matter for the court, although the court will clearly have taken into account the fact that the Crown did not object to the variation," he said.

The teenager, who is currently on bail awaiting trial, was arrested along with three others following the death of Mr Drummond in February.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
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SEE ALSO:
McConnell sets out bail shake-up
26 Sep 05 |  Scotland
Bail breaches spark fierce debate
22 Sep 05 |  Scotland
'Crisis' over bail offence rates
20 May 05 |  Scotland


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