"Semi professional party litigant",
Martin Frost's thought-provoking disclosures on Dunblane from his
Dunblane: Not all done.
I enclose below another Dunblane article –
this time from The Scotsman – relating to the release
of the Cullen Enquiry files.
As you may read there is now a current consensus
in the Press that there is nothing more to come and the Dunblane issue
should for all concerned be filed into the history books.
I beg to differ for three reasons:
a) Lord Cullen is far from a stupid man – given
the quality of material released so far – if this is all why
the imposition of the 100 year rule?
b) As discussed elsewhere in this website I had some
years ago the good fortune to meet a lady who worked directly for
Lord Hardie at the Crown Office in Chambers Street, Edinburgh.
There is an arrogance in the legal profession that secretaries and
cleaners are somehow inanimate objects – time and time again
in our colonial past uprisings were prompted by ‘loose talk’
in front of servants. This source told me that she had seen
and copied papers which inferred that not only an alleged ex-homosexual
Moderator of the Church of Scotland Andrew Herron, but that a purported
bi-sexual Senator of the Court of Session, Lord Weir, had been involved
with Hamilton. LINK
I see that in the papers currently released such
folk are notable by their absence. It prompts questions
of -- if there was a harmless association -- why are these papers
missing; who removed them and was that all that was removed?
I intend to be more precise on these matters in my yet to be published
Lockerbie article which analyses such shortcomings at the Scottish
Crown Office. LINK
c) My youngest son David Frost, recently graduated
from St Andrews University, hired a number of his university chums
to work for him in a Spanish holiday company. One such chum
was a gentleman under the name of ‘Matt’ Cullen who professed
to come from a long established legal family. An upset
occurred when the Spanish Guardia received a tip that ‘Matt’
might be involved in drugs.
I asked him straight out if he was involved and ‘Matt’
was nothing but forthright. He explained that he no longer
dealt in soft and hard drugs but he still occasionally consumed soft.
Yes he had dealt both in Edinburgh and St Andrews – but mainly
in St Andrews until very recently. ‘Matt’ stated
his weekly turnover rarely exceeded £17,500 and he sourced his
supplies usually out of London but occasionally from Dundee.
‘Matt’ boasted about the money he had
made which had enabled him to acquire many of the finer things of
life – he stated that he had well to do clients in the St Andrew
student scene and he had supplied Prince William, his body guards
and many of the Prince’s set. Upon his own volition ‘Matt’
stated that not only did his family know about his drug activities
but while not condoning such his family had used their influence in
some instances when ‘Matt’s’ premises had been raided
by the police.
Once started ‘Matt’ claimed to know many
other things – I would not want him either as a prime witness
or a good friend. But the point at issue is not the right or
wrong of ‘Matt’ the drug dealer but the fact that his
family saw fit to use influence to cover up ‘Matt’s’
transgressions – simply our legal eagles do see themselves above
the common herd.
Perhaps the Lord Advocate should have another look
in his cupboard.
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* * * * * * * * * * *
On Monday 11th April 05, as a result of my MSP request
for a public inquiry, I received a number of approaches to divulge
my knowledge concerning Lord Cullen. May I first again state that
I believe him to be an intelligent upstanding man who I feel shares
the same fault as Neville Chamberlain who pandered to the Nazi's. Lord
Cullen has not ceased to be a Faculty of Advocates man - an institution
which in my opinion passed its sell by date some sixty years ago.
I believe that when the true circumstances surrounding
Dunblane - and the homosexuality amongst the judiciary 96 finally
become public knowledge - Lord Cullen will be blamed for his colleagues'
sins. I understand from a recent poll no ex-child of Dunblane
wished the discovery embargo to continue.
It has been reported to me that Lord Cullen hates
my guts - as with Dunblane - he seeks like a mother hen to protect
his brood (e.g. Lady Smith). I am advised that he has openly
stated he wishes me booted out of his courts - so much for democracy
and impartial justice.
Elsewhere on this website I have spoken about Lockerbie.
I am ashamed to state that Lord Cullen LINK
is privy to the real happening but chooses to put so called public
or political interest ahead of the truth LINK
- not a good reflection upon his judicial oath. LINK
Does Lord Cullen judge well? - I think not - he allows
his personal persuasions to muddle his thinking - not a good scene
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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Taken from The Scotsman 4th October
Revealed: the fatal failures behind
Dunblane children's massacre
"If the kind of circumstances as described are
allowed to continue without some kind of intervention, I consider
that other children may be placed at risk. In like situations
arising unchecked I fear that a tragedy to a child or children is
almost waiting to happen."
Letter from the Children's Reporter to Fife Regional
Council and Fife Constabulary
THOMAS Hamilton showed a handgun and bullets to children
only days before he massacred 16 pupils and a teacher in Dunblane,
documents released yesterday reveal. But social workers failed
to speak to the children to check their story until the day of the
shootings. The lapse is one of a series of failings committed
by police and other public bodies in the weeks, months and years before
the killings that are described in official documents released to
the public for the first time.
The information - contained in more than 3,000 pages
of witness statements, letters and reports - includes details of how
a police officer specialising in child protection wanted a warrant
to search for hundreds of pictures of boys taken by Hamilton at summer
camps he ran.
Although a long list of charges were drafted by police,
no action was taken by prosecutors.
The previous year, a Children's Reporter warned education
chiefs and police that a tragedy to children was "almost waiting
to happen" after three boys ran away from a summer camp in Dunblane
run by Hamilton.
The documents also detail how a senior police officer
refused to revoke Hamilton's firearms licence, believing he posed
no danger to society.
The papers, prepared for the Cullen Inquiry into
the massacre, were originally placed under a 100-year closure order. But
Scotland's senior law officer, Lord Advocate Colin Boyd, reviewed
that decision and they were made available yesterday at the National
Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh. LINK
One of the documents is a letter from Strathclyde
Police written to the Chief Constable of Central Scotland a week after
the shootings. It details how, in the summer of 19•
[Ed ~ 1995 - up until the massacre,
according to Ian Stephen Boal sports club coach and friend of Hamilton,
he was involved with the Bishopbriggs club LINK],
Hamilton was given permission by the local council to run a boys'
football club at Thomas Muir High School, in Bishopbriggs.
On 1 March, 1996 a parent of a boy attending the
club contacted the school claiming Hamilton had shown him a gun.
The parent also alleged that Hamilton had offered
the boy an 18-certificate video, and told him to keep what he had
shown him "secret".
The head teacher contacted Strathclyde Regional Council
education department and was told to inform a senior social worker.
On Wednesday, 6 March, a senior social worker, whose
identity has been withheld, received a letter detailing the allegations,
and referred it to a colleague who was off sick at the time.
According to the document, the senior social worker
contacted a principal child care officer in Stirling who said they
"had knowledge" of Hamilton and had "received similar
complaints in their area". But they added that "nothing
had been substantiated".
On Monday, 11 March - two days before the tragedy
- the social worker returned from sickness and read the letter on
the allegations, "but did not appear to digest the contents in
The same day, the head teacher phoned the senior
social worker to "express her dissatisfaction and concern"
that the matter "did not appear to have been at that stage progressed
in any form or fashion".
It was only hours after the massacre that any kind
of detailed investigation was begun. Social workers visited
the home of the child and another who also attended the club.
Both said they had been shown a gun and "approximately ten bullets"
in the back of Hamilton's van, which was parked at the school.
The letter continued: "In addition, [child witness
one] alleged that on a previous occasion the subject [Hamilton] had
shown him a hunting magazine displaying pictures of persons shooting
deer, pictures of firearms and ammunition".
The senior social worker was later interviewed by
"She frankly admitted that she did not treat
the referral as a matter of urgency until the day of the Dunblane
incident because she was covering the Strathkelvin area in her capacity
as senior social worker and the social worker, [name blanked out],
who had been given the referral was off sick until Monday, 11 March
1996," the report for Lord Cullen stated.
The documents lay bare the deep suspicions police
held for years about Hamilton's behaviour towards children. In
June 1993 detectives investigated complaints from parents about his
They said their children had been forced to wear
only "ill-fitting trunks" and were made to carry out strenuous
gymnastic exercises while being photographed by Hamilton.
On 9 June, 1993, an unnamed detective constable in
the child protection unit at Bannockburn wrote to a senior colleague
outlining his concerns. He wrote: "Mr Hamilton has undoubtedly
sailed very close to the wind for many years as regards the inappropriateness
of his methods of alleged tuition of very young, immature and unsuspecting
boys of primary school age.
"However... in view of the evidence available
to date Hamilton may have committed offences of lewd, indecent and
libidinous practices and behaviour..."
The officer said he also believed Hamilton may have
embezzled, as he had boasted of spending £10,000 on camera equipment
but was registered as unemployed.
Police drew up a list of ten charges they felt could
be brought against Hamilton, but the procurator-fiscal in Stirling
decided there was insufficient evidence to prove criminal acts.
Previous probes had been conducted on Hamilton following
similar complaints about camps in 1988, 1991 and 1992 LINK,
but on all occasions prosecutors marked "no proceedings".
Grave concerns were raised the previous year in a
letter from the Children's Reporter to Fife Regional Council and Fife
Constabulary. The letter was written after three boys, two aged
nine and one ten, had run away from a summer camp run by Hamilton
at Dunblane High School.
The boys were found sitting late one night on a pavement
in Dunblane in their pyjamas. According to police, they were
"fed up with the routine of cold showers, terrible food and the
The reporter wrote: "I feel that the events
of 29.6.92 in Dunblane in a sense serve as a warning.
"If the kind of circumstances as described are
allowed to continue without some kind of intervention, I consider
that other children may be placed at risk.
"In like situations arising unchecked I fear
that a tragedy to a child or children is almost waiting to happen."
The files also include evidence from the former deputy
chief constable of Central Scotland, Douglas McMurdo, who explained
why he did not revoke Hamilton's handgun certificates. This
was despite being alerted to an incident in 1989 when Hamilton took
a gun to a family's home and showed them how to fire it.
An internal memo from Detective Sergeant Paul Hughes
also requested the licence be withdrawn following complaints about
the camps. LINK
But Mr McMurdo concluded he "never ever considered
Mr Hamilton to be a violent or dangerous person, nor did he do anything
which would have given me evidence to revoke his firearms certificate".
He said five firearms incidents involving Hamilton
had not been reported to police until after the massacre.
Mr McMurdo said the incident which most concerned
him was an allegation that, in January 1996, he pointed an unloaded
handgun to a man in his home and pulled the trigger.
"Were there evidence that this allegation was
true I would have gone for revocation," he said.
Mr McMurdo resigned in 1996 after his force was harshly
criticised following Cullen.
The documents also reveal how a photographic shop
owner alerted police after discovering Hamilton was taking hundreds
of pictures of scantily-clad boys during gym classes. "At
no time did I ever see anything in any of these films other than young
boys," he told the inquiry.
A police officer viewed the images but decided there
was no criminal content.
Annabel Goldie MSP, the Tory justice spokeswoman,
said she hoped lessons could yet be learned from the papers.
She said: "Clearly, the disclosure of these papers may help to
inform current processes and procedures for assessing individuals.
"This is very topical as the Scottish Parliament
is currently considering the Management of Offenders Bill. It
has to be hoped that if there are lessons to be learned from what
we now know about the circumstances preceding the Dunblane tragedy,
these will be picked up as a matter of urgency."
Neither East Dunbartonshire Council, which now has
Bishopbriggs in its area, or Glasgow City Council, was able to comment
as they did not know where Strathclyde Regional Council archive files
A spokeswoman for Central Scotland Police said: "The
Cullen Inquiry considered fully the issues arising from the Dunblane
tragedy and as such Central Scotland Police has no further comment
to make. Our sympathies are with the families affected by this
Hamilton branded mentally unstable
in 1974, report reveals.
THOMAS Hamilton was described as mentally unbalanced
by a Scouting official as long ago as 1974.
A police report on his involvement with the Scouts
told how he was initially regarded as a "polite and intelligent
individual" by a local Scout official, but he was dismissed within
a year because he was suspected of "improper behaviour with boys".
In 1973, Hamilton became an active member of the
1st Stirlingshire Venture Scouts. In July that year, he
became assistant Scout leader and then was promoted to Scout leader.
But in February 1974, the official received complaints
from parents after Hamilton took nine boys from Bannockburn Scouts
They were supposed to have stayed in a hostel but
instead slept overnight in a van in poor weather conditions and the
boys were "cold, hungry and frightened". The
Scout official warned Hamilton, but two weeks later the same thing
Hamilton claimed the hostel had been overbooked,
but the official discovered this was not true and decided to dismiss
A letter sent to the Scout Association's warrant
department by one of the movement's most senior officials said Hamilton
had been suspected of "improper behaviour with boys". The
letter quoted a third Scouting official, who was also a consultant
surgeon, as saying he considered Hamilton to be "mentally imbalanced".
Hamilton's disturbing behaviour continued when he
went on to run his own clubs and summer camps for boys. Over
the years, parents made a catalogue of complaints to council officials
and police about the way he ran his camps.
He once gave a mother a 15-minute video of his camps,
which showed children "exhausted" after gymnastic exercises.
She said the children were wearing football shorts, adding: "The
camera appeared to pan along the line of children and concentrate
on their waists and below."
Boys were also shown wearing only black swimming
trunks, hanging from gymnastic hoops. She said she felt this
was "way beyond the physical capabilities of children of that
age and some appeared close to tears".
A nine-year-old boy who went to a club based at Bannockburn
High School told how Hamilton "used to make us wear swimming
trunks he brought in for us" while doing gymnastics.
The boy added: "I can remember once when I was
in the minibus, Mr Hamilton asked us to guess what kind of club he
was a member of.
"We couldn't guess and eventually he told us
he was in a gun club. I asked him what he shot and he told me he liked
to shoot moving things.
"He told us he had lot of guns but not to tell
Killer 'was living on credit cards'
THOMAS Hamilton was facing financial meltdown in
The former shop owner and failed freelance photographer
was living on income support and housing benefit totalling £75
a week and owed more than £8,800.
He had bank overdrafts totalling more than £6,400
and credit card debts of £2,200, according to a report on his
finances prepared for the police. It read: "His only
means of income was A344 income support, £31 weekly housing
benefit and any profits he made from running his boys' clubs at Bannockburn,
Dunblane and Bishopbriggs.
"His financial predicament was further worsened
by the existence of sheriff's warrants in connection with his council
tax debt of £228."
Hamilton had been claiming unemployment benefit,
but was reported for working as a photographer while doing so.
He denied this when the allegation was investigated, but the benefit
was stopped. Hamilton later sold his camera equipment.
He had four bank accounts and three were substantially
overdrawn. One account, at the Clydesdale Bank, had £577
in it during December 19• , but this was reduced to three pence
in four withdrawals, the last on 11 March, 1996, just two days before
The report said: "Hamilton was undoubtedly in
severe financial difficulties. His total assets ... appear to
be three pence whilst he was overdrawn by around £6,472."
It concluded: "The limited movement with the other bank accounts
and heavy use of the Barclaycard and Debenhams card is a good indication
that Hamilton relied on credit cards for everyday living.
to previous article on Dunblane