TO THE NEWS EDITOR
3 Oct 2005, the Dunblane Inquiry documents
were made available to the public at the National Archives
of Scotland. They are not a complete set of statements.
Through a series of Freedom
of Information requests to Central Scotland
Police, I have ascertained that many witness statements
were not deposited. These are statements of witnesses who did not give
evidence at the Inquiry, nor was their evidence
read out at the Inquiry.
attached witness statement is one of these [see below]. It
is the statement of an off-duty police officer
who entered the gym immediately
behind the headteacher Ron Taylor
and the janitor John Currie.
is the witness statement of Grant McCutcheon,
now a Sergeant with Northern Constabulary. We spoke on the
phone last week and he has confirmed that the detail he gave is correct.
That is, he did not see the revolver Thomas Hamilton
used to kill himself with, he saw only one holster (not 4 as we were
told at the Inquiry), that Hamilton
was wearing a black boilersuit (not black corduroy trousers as Lord
Cullen said in his report) and that he did not see ear
defenders on the gunman (well who removed them?)
Isn’t it astonishing
that this witness was not called to give evidence at the Inquiry.
His role on the day has been airbrushed out of the picture.
It was only through persistent demands to Central Scotland
Police that I eventually got a copy of this statement.
Isn’t it astonishing that it wasn’t deposited at the Archives
and was probably never intended to be.
It is time now for an independent
investigation into Central Scotland Police.
How many more witness statements have they held back from the National
Archives of Scotland? It is nearly 10 years since
the massacre at Dunblane Primary
School. It is time now to honour the dead
with the truth.
For further information,
Tel 01947 840071
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Letter from Central
17 Nov 2005
Dear Ms Uttley
Witness statement of Off
Duty Police Officer who entered Dunblane
Primary School Gym
Recently we wrote to you
in relation to a Freedom of Information request
concerning the identity of an off-duty police
officer who entered Dunblane Primary School
gymnasium shortly after the shootings there on 13th March 2005 (sic!).
At that time, we understood that the statements of all those adults
who were present at the gym and surrounding area in the immediate aftermath
of the shootings there had been deposited in the National
Archives of Scotland for the public to consult following
redaction to protect personal information. It has now come to
our attention that the statement of the off-duty police
officer who was the subject of your request has not yet been deposited.
I am hoping to arrange with the other parties for the deposit of this
document in the near future, but in the meantime I enclose a redacted
copy in the hope that you will find it of relevance and interest.
Freedom of Information Officer
STATEMENT OF WITNESS –
SUMMARY – Off duty
police officer delivering his child to the
Nursery at the locus, enters gym after shooting
Taken by : DC 290
Date taken : Sunday 17.03.1996
At : Home Address
I am thirty one years of
age and have completed eighteen months police
service. I am currently stationed at Falkirk Police
Office and have been for the duration of my police
I currently reside at the
address given with my wife and two children. My children’s
names are ________ aged 4 and _________ aged 2 _________ . _________
attends at Dunblane Primary School Nursery,
Doune Road, Dunblane from Monday to Friday
(0930 hours to 1145 hours each day).
On Wed 13 March 1996 I
was officially rostered for a rest day.
About 0927 hours, same
date, I left my house at _______________, Dunblane
and conveyed both my children to my vehicle parked outside.
I placed both children into the rear of my Vauxhall Astra red coloured
Reg No ___________ and secured them.
I then drove to Dunblane
Primary School in Old Doune Road, Dunblane
and entered the school yard via the main gates. I drove up
the main drive and parked my vehicle in an area directly at the top
of the drive. There were other vehicles parked there, however
I cannot recall what types or colours. I can recall I had a bit
of a job getting a space.
I arrived at the school
at about 0932 hours. I am aware of the time as I knew the nursery
class began at 0930 and I knew I was just a bit late, that is how I
came to ascertain that time.
I took my children from
the car and walked them into the school via the main entrance.
I was not aware of any white van or delivery vehicles parked anywhere
there at that time.
I entered the main reception
area, turned left and walked down a set of stairs. I did not see
anyone at that time nor did I hear anything.
I then turned left again
and entered the corridor of the nursery wing. I then entered the
first classroom on the right, the class where I normally leave _________
. I allowed _________ to enter the class and left with my son.
I walked my son to an area
in the corridor I previously described of the nursery wing and he decided
that he wanted to play with some toys that were there. I stood
there as he played at a Wendy House type toy. I stood there for
about three minutes or so, I still didn’t hear anything of the
I was then aware of a group
of children, about seven or eight year olds, walking from a corridor
which leads onto the corridor I was standing in. They were
being followed by a teacher, I assumed. She was middle aged, greying
hair, wearing a shift. I cannot describe her further. She
was “shooing” the children on towards myself. They
all passed me and entered the third room on the right. I believe
they call the room the GP room.
The corridor was then empty
with the exception of myself and my son and a female. She was
about 5’ 8” in height, late 20s-early 30s, long dark hair
and was wearing glasses. She was of a medium build and was wearing
black leggings and a dark coloured top.
At that time, a female
known to me as Mrs ________(S35/D) the Deputy Head, entered the corridor
where I was, through the double entrance doors.
She was quite calm and
informed me that there was a man in the school. She continued
to tell me that he was in the gymnasium and that he was shooting.
I immediately thought that she was talking of someone with an air pistol
as I didn’t hear any gun shots.
She then told me that
he was in the gym shooting at that time. I then thought that it
was something to be really concerned about.
I told her I was a policeman
and asked if I could help. She replied “Yes please”.
I handed my son to the female in the corridor and asked her to look
after him as I intended to go to the gym.
I ran up the corridor of
the nursery wing to the main corridor or that area with Mrs _____ at
I turned right into that
corridor and ran up the small set of stairs there, where the janitors
office is located. I saw a female, aged mid to late forties, short
greying hair, wearing a shirt and a dark coloured cardigan (witness
__________ S385/D). She had blood on her hands and I could see
blood on her head from an area to the rear of her head. I could
see that she was conscious and was moving; however, she was lying at
the top of the stairs on the left almost opposite the janitor’s
I formed the opinion that
she wasn’t in any immediate danger and so I continued to run towards
the assembly hall area. I don’t think I passed anyone en
route to the assembly hall.
I entered the assembly
hall via swing doors and saw that there was no one within.
I didn’t know where
to go from there and so Mrs __________ told me to turn right.
I did so and went through another set of double doors leading to a corridor.
I turned left and ran along the corridor. There was a flight
of stairs half way along the corridor. I ran up these stairs and
on the left side of the corridor further on there was about a group
of children in gym kit sitting on the floor with their backs propped
against the wall on the left. I can recall the last child was
a young boy. I cannot describe their ages or descriptions,
however, I could tell that they were wearing blue T-shirts and dark
I saw that all four children
had gunshot wounds. I can recall that the young boy at the end
had what appeared to me pellet marks to his left leg. I
could not ascertain where the wounds were or what they consisted of. I
know that all had bloodstained clothing. The little boy at the
end spoke to me (witness ______ ). He said words to the effect
of “HE’S GOT A GUN MISTER”.
I could tell that all were
conscious and breathing and I continued to the doors leading to the
gym hall itself.
Both doors were ajar.
I do not recall if they were wedged or otherwise. I entered and
saw carnage. A flurry of thoughts and feelings came on me and
I was aware of a strong smell of gunsmoke. I also formed the opinion
that all the children I saw were dead as all were motionless.
I saw a group of bodies
to my immediate right at the entrance doors where I stood. That
was the group where the teacher (deceased Mayor) was that died.
I can recall that her body was on top of other children. I saw
that they were dressed in gym kit, blue T-shirt and dark shorts. I
formed the opinion that they were all dead.
I also saw a group to my
left, halfway up the left side of the hall. They consisted of
about four or five further children, wearing exactly the same state
of dress. I formed the opinion they were all dead also. I
also saw another group of children half way up the gym hall on the right
side. That group consisted of about four children who looked dead.
I further observed the
janitor (witness _______ S27/D) who was standing to the left side of
a black figure lying on the floor. I knew he was the gunman.
I formed this opinion as he had shot himself in the head and together
with other factors in my mind I took him to be as such. As
I took all this in and formed my opinions I saw two pistols there.
I saw that his head had
been blown away and the contents were behind him. I was focused
on this image. I then saw the janitor bend down at the gunman’s
left side and saw him retrieve a pistol. It was dark coloured
and was not a revolver. I
cannot describe it further. I also saw a further pistol lying
to the left side of the gunman’s body. That was dark coloured
as well and wasn’t a revolver.
I also said to the janitor
as he stood up to put the pistol down on the floor. I saw him
place it at his feet. He was standing some 5-6 feet at the side
of the gunman’s feet. He told me he just wanted to get the
gun away from him.
I also saw, at the same
time as all this, that the gunman was gurgling and breathing heavily.
I formed the opinion that he was still alive but obviously nearing death.
He was wearing a black boiler suit and he had a tan
coloured leather holster around his waist on the left side. He
appeared to be wearing a dark coloured anorak which had fallen open.
I didn’t notice his footwear. I saw magazines, black
coloured, lying about him. I do not know what number. I
did see spent cases of ammunition lying about his body also. I
could not put a number on them.
I didn’t see
ear defenders on the gunman at all.
I saw the janitor (witness
_________ ) walk towards me at that point. I also saw the headmaster
(witness __________ S64/D) standing in the centre of the hall looking
in the direction of the gunman. I saw that he appeared to be stunned
and motionless. He then looked at me and asked me who I was.
I told him I was a policeman.
He ran up to me and started
shouting at me “What can we do?” a couple of times.
I tried to make a sensible decision then and take in all that I saw
and had seen. I couldn’t decide if I should commence first
aid on anybody or whether to contact any of the emergency services.
I decided to choose the
latter. I told him, the headmaster (witness ________) to see if
he could administer first aid on anyone and told him specifically how
to stop the flow of blood from a wound. I told him to find some
rags or other suitable materials for this purpose.
As Mrs _________ was still
standing behind me I told her I needed to use a telephone. She told
me to follow her and that she would get me an outside line somewhere.
I followed her to a room I believe is the headmaster’s office.
Mrs _________ obtained
an outside line and passed the telephone over to me. I dialled
the telephone number 456000 and spoke to a male recipient of the call. I
think this was the operator at headquarters.
I asked for the control
room and was diverted there. I told him that I was PC _______
and that I was at Dunblane Primary School. I
continued and told them that there had been a major firearms incident
and that there were at least a dozen dead or wounded. I told
him that we needed ambulances.
I think he then passed
me onto a Sergeant (non witness _________ ) and he asked me what was
happening with the gunman. I told him he was dead and he told
me that we “didn’t need the firearms
I told him that I would
keep the line open and remain there. Whilst I was on the
telephone I saw the first of the Dunblane
police officers arrive (police
witnesses _________ S30/D and ___________ S31/D). They were running
from the reception area towards the assembly hall (west).
After they had run out
of sight, police witness _________ returned
to my position and I handed the telephone to him. I didn’t
identify myself to him and I don’t think he knew me.
I then went back out the
main entrance (north side of building) as I knew that ambulances would
be arriving. I knew I had to clear their passage into the school.
I ran out to carry out
this task and en route passed a white van, possibly a Bedford make and
the same size, style as a Sherpa van. I cannot recall if there
was anything written on the sides or anywhere on the vehicle.
The engine was still running and I think it was a diesel engine. It
The van was parked on a
raised car parking area to my left (west) between the nursery corridor
and the portable classrooms on the right (west).
I saw a woman (unidentified)
whom I cannot describe in any way at all. She was standing halfway
along the nursery corridor on the exterior of the building. She
looked as if she might be heading for the main entrance to the school.
I shouted to her if she
knew where the driver of this van I’ve described was. She
said he was in the kitchen (witness _______ ). I went into the
kitchen via the exterior doors (north side). I saw a male person
there with some documentation on him (witness ________ ). He
was dressed in a purple coloured uniform and was about 5’ 10”
tall, mid to late 40’s, slim build, grey hair, short. I
can recall he had a grey moustache as well.
I told him to move his
van. I left the kitchen first followed by this male. I saw
him getting into this van and he drove off towards the main entrance
I then ran around the same
route this driver had taken and saw a blue coloured Ford Granada. It
was the square shaped Granada. I did not look at the registration
number of the car.
It was driving southwards
and I first saw it as she was at the top of the main drive turning to
her left (eastwards). She, the driver (unidentified), turned to
her left and I stopped her there.
She was seated, obviously,
round faced, mid 30’s, short dirty fair coloured hair. She
also had a boy seated in the rear of her vehicle. He was seated
in the rear passenger side. I could not describe him at all other
than he had short dark hair.
I told her that there was
no point stopping at the school as there had been an incident that necessitated
ambulances to arrive to help injured children.
At that point she manoeuvred
her vehicle and drove off back down the main drive.
I then ran down the driveway
towards the main old Doune Road and stopped at the entrance to await
the arrival of ambulances.
I was still not aware of
any white van parked in the areas I’ve run through.
I stood at the entrance
for about a minute or so at which time a Police
traffic vehicle arrived from Tesco’s direction (west). He
drove up to me and I asked him to park his car somewhere not in the
route leading to the gym. He parked on a pavement on the east
side of the main drive somewhere near the gates. He was Sergeant
__________ (non witness). He was unaccompanied.
Soon thereafter, my next
door neighbour, witness __________ (S235/D), arrived on foot from the
same direction as the previous vehicle.
He came up and asked me
what had happened. He told me that his wife (non witness _________
) had telephoned him and told him of what she had heard had happened.
He came down to assist.
I told him that I had seen
his eldest daughter and his son as she, the daughter (non witness __________)
had been one of the group who walked towards me whilst I stood at the
nursery corridor. I also knew that his son (non witness _________
) was in that nursery corridor in one of the classrooms. I told
him they were alright. He told me he was going into the school
to look for them and he walked off towards the school.
Thereafter there was a
succession of police vehicles arrived at the
school via the main gates. There were marked and unmarked vehicles.
I did not recognise any of the drivers or personnel.
I again directed them to
areas which would not block the route an ambulance would take. At
that point the first ambulance arrived. It was manned by a male
and female (witnesses ___________ S34/D and S33/D). I knew it
was the Callander crew as they told me. I directed them to the
path leading to the main entrance and I ran in front of the vehicle.
The male ambulance crew
member (witness _______ ) departed and asked me if the situation was
genuine. I told him yes and informed him that we would need more
ambulances and asked him to contact his control. He did that
and I saw him speak into his radio set.
I gave them verbal directions
from the main entrance to the gym itself and I saw them enter the school.
I ran back to the main
entrance/exit; however I failed to notice anyone specifically en route.
I spoke to the occupants of a car that had arrived. They told me they
were doctors and I sent them up to the gymnasium. I could not
describe the vehicle or any of the occupants.
Another ambulance arrived
travelling from the direction of Tesco’s. It stopped at
the pedestrian entrance to the school. I ran out towards them
and signalled for it to come to me. It did so and I noticed a
vehicle behind same. It was being driven by a male (witness __________
Ambulance Officer), early 40’s, dark balding hair wearing a black
bomber jacket with two pips thereon. The passenger I cannot describe.
I believe the ambulance crews were from Stirling.
They drove up the drive
(south) and I saw a policeman in uniform standing at the top of the
drive. He directed the ambulance and the vehicle behind
along the east side of huts on the west side of the school yard.
I believe that takes you to another entrance to the gym (west side of
the gym hall).
After that due to the quantity
of traffic and personnel arriving at the school I cannot recall anything
further other than the activity.
A short time later a traffic
policeman came to my position to relieve me. I ran back up through
the main entrance to the school and I saw Inspector (non witness) in
the dining hall area. I asked him if there was anything I could
do to which he replied that I could stand between the dining room and
reception area. I was told to guard this area and to keep out
Sergeant ________ (non
witness) gave me his yellow bib which I put on. I stood there
until 1230 – 1300 hours. I saw about four injured children
being conveyed from the assembly hall to the main entrance exit. Two
of the injured were conveyed by trolley accompanied by ambulance staff
however I couldn’t describe any of them at all. Two
children were carried out in the arms of others, however I couldn’t
describe them in any way at all.
About 1230 - 1300 hours,
same date, I asked witness __________ (S505/D) if I could go as I wanted
to get to my children. He obliged with this request and I uplifted
my children from the nursery, along with ___________ I then went
to my vehicle; however, I was told by Constable ________ that I couldn’t
get out the entrance/exit as parents were being brought through.
I walked home via the pedestrian access.
I met up with ___________
(non witness), an off duty policeman, who had not been in the school
but was in Dunblane. He gave me
a lift home.
On that day I was wearing
black jeans, green/brown coloured boots, blue denim long sleeve shirt,
with a green/white coloured striped T-shirt underneath. I was
also wearing a khaki corduroy coat.
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