TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE)
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
AT THE PUBLIC INQUIRY
INCIDENT AT DUNBLANE PRIMARY SCHOOL
on 13th MARCH, l996
THE HON LORD CULLEN
FRIDAY, 21st JUNE, 1996
THE ALBERT HALLS,
DUMBARTON ROAD, STIRLING
(Shorthand Notes by Wm Hodge & Pollock Ltd Glasgow)
ROBERT MARK URE, (57). Sworn.
EXAMINED BY MR. BONOMY: You stay at 12 Kent Road,
Stirling? - Yes -- until the 10th of June, I exchanged houses.
You have moved now? - Yes.
You still stay in Stirling? - Yes.
When did you first move to 12 Kent Road? - December,
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? - 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
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
Were these of individual boys or groups of boys?
- What I seen was individual boys.
Which part of the boys did you see in the photographs?
- From the waist up.
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
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 and......
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 your meaning.
We will 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 Hamilton standing.
Where do the gates lead to? - In and out the school.
They are the main gates of the school.
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? - Left.
The gates you are talking about, were they to your
right or your left? - Well, they were a'fore us.
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 playground.
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 the school.
Because you 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
Did you speak to him? - Yes.
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? - The Monday.
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 guns.
Where was he going? - Going out the street.
From his house? - Yes.
Did he have any transport there? - No, he was walking.
Describe to 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.
But specifically for guns? - Yes.
Is that the last time you ever saw him? - Yes.
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