OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921.
AT THE PUBLIC INQUIRY
DUNBLANE PRIMARY SCHOOL
on 13th MARCH, l996
HON LORD CULLEN
FRIDAY, 21st JUNE, 1996
DUMBARTON ROAD, STIRLING
Notes by Wm Hodge & Pollock Ltd
MARK URE, (57). Sworn.
MR. BONOMY: You stay at 12 Kent
- Yes -- until the 10th of June, I exchanged houses.
You have moved now? -
You still stay
in Stirling? - Yes.
When did you
first move to 12 Kent Road?
- December, 1992.
And stayed there until
June of this year? - Yes.
Where is 12
Kent Road in relation to Hamilton's
house at 7 Kent Road? - It is
approximately 10 yards down the road and across.
The other side of the
road? - Yes.
And 10 yards down the
road? - Yes.
Upstairs or downstairs?
Were you aware of his
existence from the time you moved there? - Yes.
In what connection? -
When we moved in I had been in the Indoor Bowling and I won a trophy,
and I was in my own garden and he approached us to take a photograph
of the trophy and myself. I told him to get lost.
Any particular reason
why you told him to get lost? - Well, the old ladies in the street
had told me he was an unsavoury character. I was just in the
street, I had more to do than talk to the likes of himself.
Can you be more specific
about the statement you made about the unsavoury nature of his character?
- Yes. One of the old ladies, Mrs Reilly, had told me while
I was cutting her hedge that she had reason to call the ambulance
for her husband. The ambulance drew up at Thomas
Hamilton's door, he flew into a rage, stuck his face
close up to old Mrs. Reilly's face, told her in no uncertain terms:
"Don't you ever send an ambulance to my door again". I
took exception to that and I said -- Mrs Reilly is 85, and I said,
"If he ever done that again, let me know".
Anything else in general
terms about the unsavoury nature of his character? - He was a person
you could pick out in a crowd. He was a devious -- the sly way
of going about this life. How did you work that out? - Well,
it was quite easy for a man, having been in the Forces, you know.
What about him, any other
impression? - He was soft spoken, piercing eyes, and he was very --
well, nobody would really want to know him, quite frankly.
Did you ever see through
the window, see what there was on the walls of his house? - Yes.
What did you see? - I
seen two rows of photographs.
Showing what? - Photographs
of boys, one going along, and there was a further number of photographs
on the other side further down.
Were these of individual
boys or groups of boys? - What I seen was individual boys.
of the boys did you see in the photographs? - From the
Wearing anything? - I
don't remember for certain.
On any occasion did you
see boys around the house? - There were one or two occasions he had
them down to do his grass or cut his hedge out the front.
What age were
these boys? - Approximately 14 -- 12/14.
Now, after your encounter
with him over the hedge did you have any dealings with him? - No,
I had no dealings with him personally but.....
Did you ever
speak to him? - Yes, as a neighbour, in the small street
Kent Road is, I passed him
on the corner and said: "Aye", and that was
about all I was prepared to.
So you acknowledged him
as you passed? - Yes.
Before the incident at
Dunblane when was the last time you saw
him? - That would be approximately 2nd or 3rd March. My girlfriend
Helen Peters and I were walking the pup
We will come
on to tell us about this, but just before you do can you
confirm that is actually the last time you had seen him?
- Prior to Dunblane?
Yes -- the last time
you saw him at all? - No, it was after that again.
There were other occasions
when you just saw him in passing; is that right? - I don't quite get
go back to what you were telling us about Mr. Hamilton. Tell
us about that? - He came out of the ground more or less. Me
and my girlfriend Helen Peters were walking
the pup we had just acquired that Christmas, and we were passing along
adjacent to Braehead Primary School and
he suddenly came out the ground more or less. The path runs
along the primary school there and.......
Quite close to the path?
- Yes. There is the road from the back of the Braehead
Primary School comes down to the gates, and we were
going along to these gates to get out, and he appeared at the gates. I
turned round -- I was going to get the pup -- and there was Thomas
Where do the gates lead
to? - In and out the school. They are the main gates of the
Were you about to walk
in the school grounds or were you going past the gates? - We
were passing the gates going home having gone round from the road.
Do you know where he
came from? - He just came out the blue, unexpected as I say.
Can you say whether he
was in the school grounds or not? - Yes, he was definitely, because
had he been any other way, that is to say coming from the back --
there is a road that comes in the back of the school, and we would
have seen him coming down that road when we were coming to the gates. He
was in the annexe, one of the annexes to the school.
As you walked
along the path was the school to your right or your left?
The gates you are talking
about, were they to your right or your left? - Well, they were a'fore
In front of you? - Yes.
These gates lead to where?
- The gates lead out to Springfield Road, the gates of the school.
They come off Springfield Road past the church and into the school
How are you
able to tell where Hamilton
had actually come from? - Well, I would have seen him
had he been in that part of the road from the back of
didn't see him where you would expect to see him if he
was walking in the ordinary course like yourself, is the
only place he could have come from.......? - The annexe
to the school.
Did you speak to him?
What did you say to him?
- I turned round and said, "Where did you come from?" and
he said "I was away to organise another boys' club".
I just went to ask a question and -- he seemed agitated as if he had
been caught out.
Did you address him by
name? - Yes.
What name did you call
him? - John.
Why did you call him
John? - Well, I wasn't thinking properly at the time. It
is actually a little -- I thought his name was John and he brought
us up on that and he says, "My name is not John, it is Tom".
This fairly unsavoury
character whom you have told us lives across the road from you --
you didn't know his name for sure? - I knew his name, it was just
a misinterpretation at the moment.
Are you sure about it
now that it was him? - Certainly, definitely. There is no other one
in Scotland like him.
I think you were asking
him where he had been. Did you ask him anything else in that conversation?
- Yes. I asked him what he meant by starting a boys' club at a quarter
past 11 at night in the dead of winter, and he suddenly went on --
what I wanted to ask him, I asked him for the name of the Stirling
Rifle and Pistol Club's address or the telephone number of it.
did you ask him that? - My estranged wife had told us previous to
that she had been to the rifle range with him at Dunblane Victoria
and she had been embezzling money which was not to my knowledge, and
I was wanting to rectify that with the gun club. I had nothing
whatsoever to do with it, and I was wanting to contact them either
by phone or by writing to the Secretary to point that out.
So you took this opportunity
to ask him for what information? - The Stirling Rifle
and Pistol Club's phone number, or the address of that
place. He told us it wasn't a static building they had.
He informed us that might have been in his mail, that is to say the
telephone number or the address.
Now, you told me earlier
you had seen him on some other occasion before the 13th March.
When was that? - That was the 3rd of March we were talking about.
When was the next time
you saw him? - Approximately the 10th of March. We were going
down, Helen Peters and I, my girlfriend,
were going down to Cecil Street Garage at night to get the morning
paper that comes in early, and he stopped me, he wanted to talk about
the request I had made of him.
How long after the evening
you have told us about was that? - After the 2nd or 3rd March, it
would be approximately seven or eight days.
Did you speak to Hamilton
on that occasion? - Yes, in Cecil Street.
On the week
of the Dunblane incident did
you see him? - No. My girlfriend was looking out of the
window and she said, "There's Thomas
Hamilton away by".
What day was that? -
Two days before? - She
brought it to my attention it was a different colour of briefcase
than he normally had. It was normally black, as if we would
get the assumption he was into photography, but I knew otherwise through
the estranged wife, he was in the gun club along with her.
This is the Monday --
what time? - Approximately 9 o'clock, half past 9.
What was he
carrying? - It was a tan briefcase with insertions for
Where was he going? -
Going out the street.
From his house? - Yes.
Did he have any transport
there? - No, he was walking.
me please the briefcase? - It was a tan briefcase, one
that I had seen about in the military that officers had
shaped for taking the contents of guns.
This is something for
transporting guns, is it? - Yes. It is a briefcase.
for guns? - Yes.
Is that the last time
you ever saw him? - Yes.
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