System identifier: ID: 16354
Hamilton's home - lower flat
Profile of a lone gunman.
Smith, Stephen Breen and Michael
Article: THE gunman who
slaughtered 16 children and their teacher was a disgraced former Scout
leader who was obsessed with guns and young boys. LINK
used to take photographs of boys wearing only their underpants, it emerged
The 43-year-old bachelor,
who was described by neighbours as "weird" and "solitary",
also shot video film of young boys parading in their swimming trunks.
The walls of his bedroom were plastered with
pictures of boys.
Yesterday Hamilton snapped
after 15 years of what he saw was persecution from the local authorities,
police and parents worried about what went on at his boys' clubs LINK
and summer camps. LINK
years it was the largely unspoken fear in the community that he was
either molesting boys, or at least obtaining some sexual gratification
from watching and photographing them half naked.
More recently, tired of
years of police investigation, and council
crackdowns on lets of premises, Hamilton circulated
parents in Dunblane denying that he was abusing
What emerged yesterday
was a picture of a homosexual who entertained a string of young men
at his council home in the Braehead area of Stirling. Hamilton
had no convictions for sexual offences, but was cautioned by Lothian
and Borders police some 18 months ago. LINK
ran a football team and youth club in Dunblane,
and organised summer trips for youngsters. He was a member of
Dunblane Gun Club, and had a licence to keep
One parent whose son had
been to summer camp with Hamilton at Loch
Lomond said he told her that he had been at Hamilton's
home and had been shown a rifle.
members of the football club described Hamilton
as "a weirdo" and "a pervert".
Young members of the club
described a bizarre ceremony which preceded the selection of the team.
17, said: "He was a total pervert. He made me take off my
top and show my chest size to see who had the biggest chest out of all
the boys. If you had the biggest chest you were allowed to pick
the team. I left just after he did that, that was it for me."
Andrew McInnes, 16, was
forced to go through the same procedure. He described how Hamilton
would organise summer trips to Loch Lomond but he was not allowed to
go because his mother had heard rumours about Hamilton. LINK
24, said that Hamilton ran a shooting range
for boys between eight and 15. "Everyone said he was a bit
of a weirdo and there was speculation that he was a child
molester. He was a very slow and methodical
man who used to pause between sentences when he was speaking.
He used to go round to see my parents to tell them about the club.
"He was quite well
liked even though there was this speculation about him being a child
When I heard he had done this I wasn't surprised because of what I'd
heard in the past. He might have cracked up but you can never
tell about things like this."
A photographer from Stirling,
Sandy Leathley, said he had learned of Hamilton's
obsession for guns when Hamilton
had employed him as a photographer for six weeks two years ago. His
work had included taking photographs of youngsters involved in sporting
activities at three clubs run by Hamilton
at local schools.
said: "One day he asked if I wanted to see his two handguns. He
said he had some live ammunition as well. I
said no as he seemed to me to be very proud of his guns."
was told a month ago he was not fit to join a gun
club because his behaviour had been dangerous at a trial for would-be
members. Three weeks into a six-month probationary period, he
was asked not to come back to Callander Rifle and Pistol Club.
The secretary of the 50-a-year
club, Raymond Reid, said Hamilton had not
followed safe procedures when he was at the club. "He would
swing the gun around a wee bit, and not just
point it in the same direction as everybody else. If you do that
once, you are out the door.
"We decided he was
not fit to join - he was not a safe gun. But
he did have his own guns and the certificates
to prove it.
forces investigated Hamilton after allegations
from parents about bullying by Hamilton at
clubs he ran in Dunblane, Falkirk, Linlithgow
Concerns were also expressed
about his allowing youngsters, aged from around nine to early teens,
to run around stripped to the waist.
A mother from Dunfermline
said she had complained to the child protection unit at Fife police
over reports she had received from her son when he returned from a holiday
camp at Dunblane High School.
Among complaints passed
to the police was one that Hamilton
had spanked children if they were naughty; the complainer was eventually
told no action would be taken because there was insufficient evidence.
mother recalled making a complaint to Central Scotland police
along with a neighbour who had a youngster at a youth and football club
run by Hamilton at Alva sports centre. "He
handed out leaflets for a school camp in Dunblane
for kids who would show 'the correct aptitude'. It became apparent
that it was the quiet ones that he was choosing. Then we became
concerned when we heard he was taking pictures of half-dressed boys."
She continued: "My
husband approached him, and he said there was nothing wrong. He
said that the police had it in hand, and not
to worry." [Ed. ~ Was her husband a
has an exceptionally large percentage of its citizens in the Masons.]
She added: "He [Hamilton]
gave me the creeps. He told people he was married and he came
to the pool one night and told me a boy there was his son. I knew
The Scotsman which first drew attention to
Hamilton - in November 1983 - when we reported
that 70 parents in Dunblane had been bewildered
by the abrupt termination of his let of Dunblane
High for a boys club, Dunblane Rover Group.
said that "serious allegations" - never spelled out - had
been made about him.
In a letter to Central
Region, with a 70-signature petition, a representative
of parents of boys attending the club, complained that Hamilton
had been the subject of "malicious back-stabbing." All
the parents, he said, were proud to have Hamilton
in charge of their boys because of his excellent qualities of leadership
Hamilton took the case
to the Local Government Ombudsman - and won his case. LINK
The Ombudsman, holding that Central Region had been guilty of an injustice
to Hamilton, said "the evidence that the group was well run and
was supported by parents was ignored in favour of complaints which proved
to be little better than gossip."
The finding was to set
Hamilton in conflict with Central
Region, and disputes with other councils over lets for
premises filled the ensuing years.
He was also to complain
of persecution from Central, Strathclyde, Fife and Lothian
and Borders police forces.
Concerns raised by parents
over a summer camp on Loch Lomond in 1988
prompted an investigation by Strathclyde police
and Central. At the beginning of 1989, the procurator-fiscal at
Dumbarton said he was taking no action in the case.
May 1992, Hamilton wrote to his local MP, Michael Forsyth, now the Scottish
Secretary. [Ed. ~ Not to mention that
Forsyth was President of the Board of Her Majesty’s Commissioners
of Queen Victoria School in Dunblane, with which Hamilton had
sinister connections. LINK
Or that Forsyth and the Lord Advocate Lord Mackay of Drumadoon,
chose the made-to-measure judge, perfect for heading the Dunblane Inquiry
whitewash - within a day of the massacre. LINK]
I have received today the
formal reply from Central Scotland Police
after a wait of six full months. Nowhere in the letter is there
any attempt to explain the initial need to demand, with threats, camera
equipment, and the need to launch a pervert hunt on the basis that I
take photographs of children."
He added: "It is one
matter to look into a complaint of a bully being smacked on the back
of the knees with the flat of my hand, and quite another to launch a
pervert hunt on the basis that taking pictures of children is in itself
a cause of concern."
Only last week, Hamilton,
who had penned many thousands of words of complaint to chief constables,
council leaders, and parents, was to write his final letter. The
former Scout leader, who never got over being forced out of the Scouts
some 20 years ago - again with the reason never explained - wrote to
the Queen. [Ed.
~ The Queen is patron of the Scout Association.]