IN A rare legal move, the two procurators
fiscal who considered complaints against Thomas Hamilton gave evidence
from the witness box at the Cullen Inquiry yesterday.
Their evidence was sanctioned by Lord Mackay of Drumadoon,
the Lord Advocate, under the stricture that they should not be questioned
about why they had taken no action against Hamilton. LINK
James Cardle, 62, a retired
fiscal at Dumbarton, said he had received a report on complaints about
a camp run by Hamilton at Inchmoan Island at Loch Lomond in 1988 and
confirmed that he had decided not to initiate criminal proceedings.
He subsequently received another report on the summer
camp, which he realised was a complaint against the police, and he
passed it to Strathclyde Police's complaints and discipline department.
Reminded by the Crown counsel, Iain Bonomy, that
the report contained statements from witnesses who had not been interviewed
at the time of the first report, and that police probably intended
that he should reconsider the case against Hamilton, Mr Cardle said
that he would not have done that. He said he had already marked
the case for no proceedings and it would have been "futile"
to consider any other evidence.
Under no circumstances, according to the rules provided
by the Appeal Court, could he investigate matters which had become
available through a complaint against the police.
William Gallacher, 37, formerly
a fiscal depute at Stirling, confirmed that he had refused a search
warrant for Hamilton's home in 1993, after receiving a report which
highlighted potential criminal offences, including dishonesty, lewd
and libidinous practices and a contravention of the Children and Young
His conclusion was that the warrant should not be
granted on the basis that there was not enough information that a
crime had been committed. "I thought it was behaviour which
was a cause for concern but did not cross the boundary."
Later the junior Crown counsel, Jonathan Lake, read
the 18-page independent report prepared on the dealings of the fiscal
departments with Hamilton. It revealed that Mr Cardle had been
troubled by events at Loch Lomond and thought it appropriate to refer
them to the social work department and children's panel.
Questioning of the boys at a later date disclosed
discrepancies and incidents uncorroborated and, although Mr Cardle
recommended no action, he remained concerned.
The dossier recorded Mr Gallacher as saying that,
although the large number of photographs of boys, in skimpy gym gear
and in a variety of poses, that had been taken by Hamilton were troubling,
they could not be described as indecent.
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