on 13th MARCH, l996




MONDAY, 17th JUNE, 1996




(Shorthand Notes by Wm Hodge & Pollock Ltd Glasgow)


EXAMINED BY MR. BONOMY: You live in Dumbarton? - Yes.

You are an under-graduate student in the subject of sport in the community? - Yes.

Now, I think that you knew Thomas Hamilton; can you tell me when you first met him? - It was actually through an advert on the university noticeboard for a job applying for sports coaches for one of the summer camps; that was in May, 1994.

That is when you saw the notice? - Yes.

Where was the camp to be? - At Dunblane High School, the first two weeks in July.

Did you contact Hamilton? - Yes, I noticed it was, like, a letter with headed notepaper and it said if you wished to apply phone Mr. Hamilton at the number.

Did it give any indication on the notice what his work was? - Yes, at the bottom it was was like a graphic to do with photography, a professional photographer.

Was there any pay specified? - I can't really remember the exact amount but I think it was £250 for two weeks.

Did it look official or cheapskate to you? - It did look very official, it was headed notepaper and said the Boys Sports Club and also it stated that Thomas Hamilton was actually the President or some official capacity.

How did you get in touch with him? - Through a phone call, I phoned him one afternoon it was.

Is that you phoned him? - Yes.

That was to the number on the notice? - Yes.

Did he ask you to provide information to him about your background? - Yes, I was to send my CV to him.

Did you do that? - Yes.

Was there a follow-up to that? - The follow-up was that........during the telephone conversation he said I was to send my CV to him and he would get back to me regarding a possible interview.

Did he interview you? - Yes.

Where was that? - At his house, 7 Kent Road.

How long did the interview last? - I think it involved an interview at his house and then there was a practical session at one of the sports camps.

So he was checking you out in some details? - Yes, he wanted to see how I was coaching kids at one of his camps.

So he interviewed you first of all? - Yes.

And then he watched you carry out a coaching session with his children? - Yes.

Before you found out whether or not you had got the job? - Yes.

So far as the interview was concerned at his house what sort of information did he go into? - Well, he just asked me most to do with my coaching experience as a sports coach, the types of sports I was actually qualified to coach.

How long did it last? - I think it was about half an hour.

Did you learn in the course of the interview whether he did any other activities with the boys other than camps? - Yes, there was just like he had clubs throughout the Central Region area and like various nights throughout the week.

Did he mention any schools? - Only one, I think it was Alloa, I can't remember the exact name of the school - Alloa High School.

Did you get the impression he was conducting a number of these in the course of any given week? - Yes, the way he was talking it was as if maybe a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.

Did you find out from him what he was interested in apart from taking the boys clubs? - No.

Did he discuss photography with you? - He said that he was a professional photographer.

Did he say anything about photographing children? - No.

Was there any discussion of photographs and what may be provided to parents and so on? - No, not at that stage.

At any stage? - Eventually like once I had actually been accepted for the job he said that he would sometimes take pictures of the kids and sell them on to the parents.

Did he say anything about a video at that stage? - He said he had.......I don't think it was actually at that particular interview, maybe it was subsequent, that there was a promotional video of one of the camps or something.

After the coaching session at which he watched you coach how long was it before you learned whether or not you had got the job? - He actually told me that night.

Did you get the job? - Yes.

Where was it you went for the session? - Alloa High School.

Had you actually on the night of your interview been to a different high school with him or was it the same night you had......? - It was the same night.

It wasn't Dunblane High School you went to? - No, it wasn't Dunblane.

That particular night, the first night when you were being checked out by him, how many children were present? - Between 20, 25.

What were they doing? - There was actually two sessions and the first hour was younger kids and the second hour was older kids and it was playing football they were actually doing.

So the total number over two hours was 25? - It was about 40 kids.

Was it over all different ranges? - Between, I can't remember the actual age, between maybe eight and 12.

Over the whole piece? - Yes.

Was there anything structured about these sessions? - Looking back on it it was like as if they were just playing football and that was it, there wasn't much of a coaching element to it which I was quite disappointed with.

Anything odd about the set up? - One thing I would say is that generally when I take the kids there were bibs to distinguish between the two teams, one would wear bibs and the other would have on their tops but what he would do would be one team would have their tops on and one team would have their tops off, that was the only difference I would have said.

Have you been at any football session he was running where both teams had their tops off? - I don't think so.

Thinking back to the first session you were aware he was checking out what you did, can you remember whether or not both sets of teams had their tops off on that occasion? - I can't say either way but I don't think so.

The statement I think you originally gave to the police indicates that was the position? - Probably it was actually half the boys would have their tops off.

Now, when did the camp take place? - The 1st or 2nd of July to maybe the 14th, it was a two week period.

Were some kids there for the whole fortnight? - No, some kids were there for the first week and some kids actually stayed for two weeks.

Between your interview and the camp did you go to any of the clubs? - Yes, I worked sometimes at, I think it may have been the Wednesday night, at Alloa High School.

Anywhere else? - I think I was at Dunblane once.

Did you get paid for these visits? - Yes.

Were you at Falkirk at all? - No, not at that time.....yes, I probably would have been.

Which premises was it at Falkirk? - Grahams High School.

Were you at Bannockburn at all in that period? - Yes.

How much did you get paid when you took the club for him? - Generally it was £7 an hour and then it went up to £10 an hour.

Was he there at the same time? - Yes.

So talking now about the period between your interview and the camp was there any difference in the activities at these club nights from the original night when you were interviewed? - I don't think so, no.

Any gymnastics? - I believe at the times when he actually had his photography equipment with him that would be the only difference and also gymnastics as well, as you said.

He did gymnastics? - Yes.

He conducted that, did he? - Yes, generally he conducted that.

Did he take photographs of that? - Not of the gymnastics, it would be group pictures.

Is that a group having played football or groups having done gymnastics? - Generally it would be like at the end of the night the kids had been playing football or had been doing gymnastics and obviously the groups were there and he took a group picture of them.

Did he have much elaborate equipment for that? - Yes, I would say so.

Do you know anything about photographic equipment? - No.

Did he simply take snaps like you might do on a holiday or was it more elaborate than that? - It was like he was structuring them, the composition, he would have kids kneeling at the front and kids standing at the back.

Did he have a tripod to put the camera on? - Yes.

Was there a video camera on these occasions? - No.

On any of these occasions did he tell you why he was taking the photographs? - He said he would sometimes actually sell the pictures to the kids' parents.

Now, at the Dunblane camp how many supervisors were there? - There was actually only myself and Mr. Hamilton.

How many children? - About between 16 and 20.

Were they all staying? - Yes -- I tell a lie, actually there was one kid who came on a daily basis.

Did you expect more than that? - I actually did, yes.

But not everyone that might have come turned up? - Well, I wasn't involved in the bookings of the kids; from the way he was talking it was as if there would be quite a lot of kids.

Now, you stayed throughout the period? - I had two days off.

What were the sleeping arrangements? - It was quite surprising because I thought there would be accommodation, separate accommodation for most of the staff and the kids and maybe a room for the kids but it was actually a commonroom area; the kids would be sleeping on sofa seats and some kids were on the floor in sleeping bags which I found quite strange.

What about you and Hamilton? - We would be in the same room on soft seats.

What were the activities of the camp, was there some routine to them? - The routine, he had a particular routine where, like, the kids would get up maybe eight, half past eight in the morning for breakfast and then go straight into the gym, do gymnastics, football, a variety of sports and then maybe between 12 and one have lunch and then after lunch they would do sports again; the work was quite taxing for the kids, it wasn't particularly fair to them because they were being exercised to excess and it was too much I thought and I aired my views, I told him I didn't think it was right that the kids should be constantly working in the gym doing sports, they should have some time off to watch television and towards the end of the camp it became a bit more relaxed, he let the kids have a long lie until about 9 o'clock, watch TV for half an hour so it eventually was a bit more relaxed.

You have told us about the morning and afternoon; what about the evening? - It was sometimes varied, they would consist of sports as well so the kids were doing between probably six and eight hours sports a day which is too much.

What age were these children? - Between eight and 12.

Can you tell me anything about Hamilton's general teaching methods? - I would say that his methods were out-dated and it was very disciplined, he used his authority to tell the kids what to do, sometimes shouted at them; also he was into, like, maybe taking the kids for circuit training which I thought was a bit extreme; he asked me to take the kids circuit training and I said no because kids of that age shouldn't be doing that at all.

Did the children enjoy these camps? - I think it was actually mixed, it was some kids did and some didn't.

Was there anything odd about the clothing arrangements? - Yes, when the kids were doing their gymnastics they would be in black shorts, swimming trunks, which I thought was a bit strange; when I asked him with him taking pictures of them doing gymnastics, something to do with a physical education magazine was interested in pictures of this; I thought it was a bit strange.

You are doing a course that involves, I take it, studying how to undertake activities of this nature? - Yes.

Did you see any place in the type of gymnastic activities with these youngsters that Hamilton was undertaking for them dressing in short black swimming trunks? - He would say that it was the purpose of catching them when they were vaulting; I would say that a kid is more liable to get injured when they don't have their clothes on; if the kids don't have their clothes on and they hit the floor they may hurt themselves.

Have you seen in your studies any examples of people running gymnastic classes with youngsters of this age where the children are required to wear swimming trunks? - No, I haven't.

1.50 p.m.

After an adjournment for lunch.

I was asking you some questions about dress at the camps.  Can you tell me how frequently in the course of the fortnight you were there the children were expected just to wear black swimming trunks? - Generally every day, maybe every -- if they were doing gymnastics, say an hour at a time.

If the children weren't wearing these trunks would they normally be wearing a shirt of some kind? - Yes, normally wear their sports stuff, either shorts and a top or a tracksuit bottom and top.

Did they normally have a top on when they weren't doing gymnastics? - Depends.  Sometimes they would be outside, it was quite warm, and sometimes some kinds will take their tops off.

Was there anything about Hamilton's behaviour when coaching or helping children with any of the work they were doing that you were concerned about? - He was quite -- he was like -- he pushed them quite hard.  Some of the exercises he was trying to get them to do were in my opinion too strenuous.  Just simple things like maybe even simple press-ups.  He had them doing gymnastics and they were doing like inverted crosses, and that's quite a tough thing to do.  I am pretty sure Mr. Hamilton himself couldn't have done it; why should he expect the kids to do it.

Did you intercede on the part of the children at all? - Yes.  Sometimes I would say when the kids were training, I would say to Mr. Hamilton, "Look, give them a break" or "Don't do this".  I knew what it was going to be like and so I would say, "I think that this is a bit over-strenuous for them".

Was there anything about his approach to them physically that caused you any concern? - No.

What was his attitude to children who couldn't perhaps touch their toes? - He liked kids being quite physical.  If they weren't particularly good he would tell them, he said, he would tell them to work harder.

Did he touch them very much? - Depends.  If it was gymnastics, if you were going to coach or catch there is a certain degree of contact, but none over the top or anything like that.

Did he take many photographs in the fornight? - Yes.  This -- I was very surprised at the amount of pictures he took, particularly it seemed to be always at gymnastics.

All with the still photographs? - Some of them were action pictures.

But not videos? - No.

Were these largely when the children were wearing swimming trunks? - Yes, generally, yes.

What about the catering arrangements.  Were you well fed? - We were well fed, yes, I would have to say.  It was very basic food but the kids seemed to sort of like it.

Did you ever ask Mr. Hamilton about how he financed all his activities? - He said that - do you mean particularly this camp itself?

And the clubs? - What he said was he actually got free lets from Central Region so therefore it didn't cost him for the schools and that.

Did he mention anything about getting assistance from anyone to get these lets? - Councillor Ball.

What did he say about Councillor Ball? - He said he was a friend of him, he generally did assist him getting lets for any school he wished. LINK

After this camp was over did you continue to assist Mr. Hamilton? - Well, once the camp was over obviously it was during the school holidays so therefore the schools and stuff were closed.  I never heard from him until maybe August/September of that year, and he would phone me up and ask would I maybe perhaps like to come up and do some coaching, and that was quite -- maybe about a month later it would be.

During that period in late 1974 were you aware of any clubs folding? - I never actually knew anything about how many clubs he was running therefore I couldn't really be definite and say i.e. clubs did fold.

Were there any clubs that didn't seem to take place in late 1994? - Yes, the Alloa Club, and I once went to a club in Alva, and that was a Sunday morning.  He told me that club was quite busy the first couple of weeks and he was needing some help so I went up.  There was actually only about eight kids which was quite surprising to see that, so therefore I was never out at that one.

Did that club come to an end? - Yes.

When eventually? - I don't actually know obviously because I wasn't involved in the running of it but I assume yes.

Did the Alloa one come to an end? - Alloa one, I think he only had the let up until when the schools closed.  I don't know if he renewed the let, I don't think he did, therefore the club wasn't on after the camp.

So between September when the schools are back and December did you assist him? - I occasionally worked for him.

Where? - He had a club in Grahams High School, Falkirk, and sometimes in Dunblane on a Thursday night.

Did you get properly paid for the fortnight's camp you did? - Well, I had actually to check my bank records on the camp and I checked actually, and the cheque I was actually paid actually bounced.  I put it into the bank because I am actually a student myself, so when the cheque bounced itself, so I was straight on the phone again because I had been charged with my bank and I said, "Look, the cheque has bounced".  He said, "Look, I am very sorry about it".  I actually went to the bank twice and it bounced twice.

Was it eventually paid? - Eventually, yes.

How much was it for? - £280.  Originally it was supposed to be £250.

In September and December were you being paid for temporarily assisting him? - Yes, depending on the nights of the week.

In December I think you brought your relationship to an end? - Yes, because like, the only reason I had -- you might think it strange because I was at Dumbarton and I was travelling away up to Stirling, but the only reason I came to Stirling was my girlfriend at the time was at Stirling University so therefore I had a contact within Stirling, so it was quite convenient for me to work in Stirling.

What was your reason for bringing it to an end? - Well, sometimes he would maybe have me pick him up outside his house and he would have his camera stuff, equipment with him, and I felt that I was getting like a taxi service rather than a sports coach.

It wasn't concern over what he was doing at the clubs that made this end? - No.

When did you next hear from him? - It must have been -- well, after I said I wasn't coming to work for him he kept on phoning to say are you coming up and I said "No." It would be maybe May time.

What was the purpose of him contacting you then? - That was because he was looking for somebody for a sports camp in summer 1995, and he was actually asking myself whether I would be willing to work with him for two weeks.

Did you agree to that? - No, I just felt like it was only two weeks work, and I was unemployed and obviously the school period is over six weeks, so I was hoping to gain further employment.

Was it knowing about the previous year's camp that was influencing your view? - Well, to a certain extent.  I never particularly liked the fact the kids had to do so much strenuous work.  The sleeping arrangements weren't particularly good as I previously mentioned.

Did he do anything to try to persuade you? - He increased the amount of money that I was going to work for.

To what? - I think it was £300.

In fact, you didn't take that job? - That's right.

You had another job? - That's right.

What was that? - It was actually by Mr. Hamilton I actually gained that employment.  It was at the International School teaching Spanish kids sports.

Where was that? - Queen Victoria School. LINK  [Ed ~ Why was there was no further examination with this witness and others about Hamilton's relationship with Queen Victoria School?] LINK

Was that a longer period than two weeks? - It was for four weeks. I gained that employment because Mr. Hamilton had gave my number on to somebody else.

Well, you were at that training....? - It was a school.

While you were there did you go to Dunblane High School Club at all? - Yes.  He phoned me up a couple of times saying "Why don't you come down and see" -- some of the boys who had been at the previous camp were actually there in 1995 and he said "Why don't you come down and see how they are getting on".

Did you go? - I went down three times.

Did Mr. Hamilton have any assistance at the camp? - Yes, he had one qualified teacher and two other students.

Did you see them there? - Yes.

Did they know what they were doing, or appear to know what they were doing? - Yes.  It was just virtually similar to exactly why I was there, i.e., while the kids were doing gymnastics, and they were in their trunks once again.

How many kids were there? - I estimate 25/28.

So it was bigger than the year before? - Yes.

On one of the visits you were there did you come across a child who was upset? - Yes.  There was a kid in a corner crying.  I asked him -- no, I never asked the kid directly -- I asked what was wrong with the kid and they said that he was homesick and he was upset.  It was just he was homesick and therefore he was in a corner crying.  I thought it was a bit harsh and when talking to him........

Did he say whether he had run away? - Yes, I think he did.  He said maybe two boys had run away the previous night and he said they came back and their parents had been notified.  The parents seemed quite happy to have the kids continue.

Were the children wearing black swimming trunks again? - On the occasions I was there I was doing gymnastics, yes, and they were in their swimming trunks.

Generally speaking at that camp did the children appear to you to be happy or unhappy? - I don't think they enjoyed the gymnastics; I think they found that quite hard work.  On the whole they seemed -- no, I never really had that much contact at the time.  They seemed okay, yes.

What about the people who were working with them this time?  Was he getting on with them? - He said he had a couple of problems with them because, in particular the school teacher, because I didn't think they were particularly impressed by his teaching methods, i.e. kids being in trunks, the same as I thought myself, a bit strange.

Were there any photographs taken on any of your visits? - He did take several when I went, yes.  There was a picture taken, a group picture outside.

How were the kids dressed for that? - They were wearing swimming trunks.  The staff were in the same picture with him.

I think you next became directly involved with him in September, 1995? - Yes, that is right.

He contacted you again? - He contacted me just asking me obviously - he was saying he was actually thinking about expanding his clubs as an organisation up to the Edinburgh area and round about the Glasgow area.

Whereabouts in Glasgow is that to be? - It was -- he looked at a couple of places like Milngavie and Bishopbriggs and eventually Bishopbriggs.

Were you willing to help on this occasion? - Well, when I was at the camp he said I would be running the club myself.  The way I would see it, I had to organise it myself and he wouldn't be there.  Subsequently he was there every week.

Did he interfere with your organisation? - I was annoyed with the fact he was there "No, you run this club the way you see fit".

Were you not allowed to run it in your own way? - Obviously his teaching methods are different from mine.  You know, as I say, he had the kids with their tops off where I like to have kids wearing bibs like sports bibs.

Is that on top of a tee shirt? - Yes.

Was he insisting you follow his code rather than yours? - It was quite convenient because we actually had two gyms eventually.  I was working in one gym myself so I could do coaching the way I seen fit, and he would have a group in the gym.

What did he do? - It was generally football.  I did a lot of football and basketball coachng but he seemed to just let them play football.

Were you aware he was distributing leaflets advertising his club? - Yes, that is right.  I never actually knew until he actually -- the first night in the actual club I never knew that my name had been distributed.  There were leaflets there, I was the club coach of the boys' club.  I was a bit annoyed because it had my phone number and stuff.

Did you see any of these leaflets? - He eventually posted me one.

Could you look at S BOAL/6 which is also D8 in Volume J(iv)? - Yes, that is it.

Has that got your name in it? - Yes.

What does it say about you? - It says here "Club coach, Mr. Ian Boal".  It says, "CV available on request", and also my address.

Would you also look at DSRC/ES3 which is D4 in J(iv).  Look at the top of the page.  You will see this is an application form for the let of James Muir High School.  Does that have your name on it? - Yes. I never actually knew about that until the police said that.

It is relating to a period when you were actually coaching at James Muir High School in Bishopbriggs? - Yes.

You actually knew nothing about your name being on the document? - Yes.

It gave you a position, did it not? - Yes, if I can remember, Secretary of the club or something like that.

Do you remember the document also had a list of Committee members on it? - Yes. Well, he told me there was a Committee for his clubs.

Did you ever meet the Committee? - Never.

Did you ever meet any of the people whose names are on that form? - No.

I don't know if you have got the form yet or not.  Do you see your name there as the secretary? - Yes.

Does it also list the names of the Committee members? - That is right, yes.

Could you read them out please? - Mr. D. McDonald, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew, Mr. and Mrs. Hoggan, Mrs. Munro, Mr. K. Barker, Mr. and Mrs. Hall, Mr. I. Boal, Mr. T.W. Hamilton and Mrs. A. Watt.

He told you there was a Committee and you didn't realise you were on it? - Yes.

Now, when this club in Thomas Muir High School started up was it well attended? - The first couple of weeks we had I think it was 68 kids.

Were you able to cope with that? - We actually only had one sports hall.

Do you remember a waiting list at any time? - Yes, I remember the stuff, there was going to be a waiting list, so I think he was actually writing to the kids or their parents.

Did that club run right up until the incident at Dunblane? - That's right, yes.

Were you involved in that right up until the end? - That is right.

Were you also involved in running any other club during 1995 into 1996? - Occasionally Bishopbriggs would go up to Dunblane High School on a Thursday night.  He had got a minibus or something from Central Region, and he would go up, pick up the kids from Bishopbriggs Club, and sometimes when they were up there I would go up obviously as I was a coach.

Was it on a Bishopbriggs night? - No, that was a Thursday night.

This is an extra night? - Yes.

Were you also coach of any other sports clubs he had? - Occasionally I would go up to the Dunblane Club when I think it was Bannockburn were the kids that were there.

What about Graham's High School, was it still going on? - No.

Were there any other clubs where the boys were moved from one area to another to make up the numbers at another club? - I think -- I wasn't involved in shifting kids from place to place, but I think actually he did take kids from maybe Callander, maybe that area, up to Stirling.

Were any photographs taken at Bishopbriggs? - No.

So at the time the Bishopbriggs Club starts up his camera equipment disappeared? - Yes. It was quite strange like because he used always to talk about cameras, what he made out of it like, taking pictures of families, various events, the assignments he had, and he seemed to be quite happily involved in cameras and stuff, how he used to buy and sell cameras and just equipment in general.

What took over as the subject of conversation with him? - His guns.

When did the guns first come into the conversation? - The earliest recollection I have of his involvement in guns -- he said at the summer camp that he did have guns but he hadn't been using them, it was just an old hobby or something and the new hobby was photography.  So he actually never spoke much about guns, so the earliest was maybe round about just before Christmastime he started talking about how he was heavily involved in using guns and stuff.

From then until March was that the type of conversation? - Yes.  He used to annoy me in a sense because I was busy coaching and when I was coaching usually he would stand at my shoulder, next to my shoulder, talking about his guns hobby, various things which, being honest, I didn't have any interest in guns, so it was pretty boring.

Now, when was the last time you met him? - The last time I met him was the Monday previous to the incident.

Was that at Thomas Muir High School in Bishopbriggs? - Yes.

How did he seem that night? - He was talking about guns as per usual.  He also -- I can remember his last words, and he just -- I took him down to train station and he just said, "Thanks very much, Ian, see you next Monday".  Again, it was just like a normal Monday.

Was there any discussion about bullets in the course of that evening? - It was quite strange because like maybe three or four weeks before he kept talking about guns, bullets, like where he had been shooting.  I think he had been shooting on the Wednesday before, the week prior to the shooting he had been shooting, out at actually at the club or something shooting, and how he got a new gun, and also about bullets, what certain bullets could do.

Do you remember any detail about that? - It was something of hindsight, I mean, but it was something that was quite strange because like he used to talk about the spray of a bullet.  I don't know anything about ballistics at all but he would be talking about what bullets could do, sprays like, it hit someone and disintegrates in a sense rather than exiting right through, and how he was testing out bullets to see which were the best, to prevent jamming of his cartridge guns.

Did he say what size of gun he preferred and what size of ammunition? - Was it 9 millimetres or something.

In your statement to the police you told them he also used 9 millimetre bullets because they did not have a tendency to jam as frequently? - Yes.

Do you remember that being said to you? - Yes.

Did he say anything about the tip or head of the bullets at all? - He says depending on the type of head -- well, it would depend what bullets you actually had, with the spray and stuff.  He also said he had been testing bullets to see which were best.  When I say tested -- I found this quite strange he actually did this, he would go to the target range in the club and shoot at books and he would see the spray of the bullet going through the thickness.  Say the book was maybe this thick, he could actually see where the bullets went through and what it did to the book.  Obviously if it sprayed it would go out wide, and he was doing -- he also said he experimented with alcohol and the effects of alcohol upon his shooting, although he said he never actually drank.

Do you know from your own experience he didn't drink? - Yes.  He told me he never drank.

Did you ever see him drink alcohol? - No.

What did he say he was experimenting with it for? - He said he would -- he only did it once -- again this annoyed me because you are obviously working with kids and he was telling me this and, being honest, I wasn't really listening to him.  He said he did take a couple of drinks and then go up to the range to see how accurate his shooting had been from this.  I said to him "How accurate was it?" and he said "It wasn't particularly very accurate", it wasn't particularly good for him.

Did he say anything about how well the bullets penetrated? - Yes.  He talked about bullets and actually -- was this 30 centimetres or 30 inches or something and it would go, the words were, through someone.

How many kids were there on the Monday night? - On the Monday before, about 20 I think.

When you drove Hamilton to the station that evening was there any conversation about film? - Yes.  He offered me -- which was quite strange -- a copy of Aliens video, which I thought quite strange.  I said No.  He said to me "I have just got it today" or something, and he said, "I have got it in my pocket".  I thought that a bit strange.

Did he mention any other video? - The Terminators.

Did he say why he liked the two videos? - He liked them because of the guns.

Was that a reference to one or both videos? - Both of them.

Did he ever involve any of the children in converations about guns or bullets? - I never found this out until I was actually speaking to the kids and I said to them, "What was Mr. Hamilton talking to you about" and they said -- the kids had said he had been talking about looking at the largest thing he had shot.  This was a sort of joke, his type of joke, and it was he had shot a moose, and the kids thought it was a mouse, so he thought it was funny.  I thought it was a bit strange, talking to kids about guns.

Did he ever show the children anything? - I don't think he actually showed the children but he actually -- I think he did because he actually had like a flier -- not a flier, a catalogue of bullets -- I never knew there was such things -- and it was a catalogue for types of bullets.  There was a picture of a moose on the front of it and he was saying this is what I shot, this is what a moose looks like, not a mouse.  I said to him like, "I do not think -- you shouldn't really be talking to kids about guns.  You don't want like to influence the kids".

Did you get any reaction to that? - He went like "Ach, it's okay, kids play soldiers all the time".

Did he ever write to you? - Yes.

How often? - Generally it would happen if I was working for him, he would send me a cheque, and the last letters I received were on headed notepaper up until round about Christmas time and I noticed most of the correspondence never had headed notepaper.  Also they never had anything to do with photography.  They weren't personal letters but they were more of you contracted to work for eight weeks. In January I received a letter from him because one of the nights at the camp - not the camp, the club - one of the boys had been, they were not to kick the ball above head height, so this boy had hit the ball into the roof and just missed the lights.  I shouted at him - his name was David - "David, watch what you are doing".  At the time Mr. Hamilton sort of looked at me but never said anything.  During the week - I think it was the Thursday - I received a letter saying how my teaching method was completely wrong, my attitude was terrible, and I had - I don't mean that it was threatening or such, it was what are you doing wrong.

He had been there when this happened? - Yes.

He didn't speak to you about it? - No, he didn't speak to me about it.

Did you intend to carry on working with him? - Well, I was quite annoyed at this letter, so what happened was I waited until the Monday night after I received the letter and told him on the Monday night I was going to see out my contract which was up until just before Easter because I wasn't going to put up with hassle he was giving me through writing a letter like that to me.

When were you going to work to? - It would have been Easter time, the Monday before Easter, when the schools finished.

Had you got paid up to then? - I was paid up to then.

At any time in any conversation with him did Mr. Hamilton ever mention Dunblane Primary School? - No.

When you last saw him did he seem any different from the way he had been on the nights, the Monday or two beforehand? - No, just like talking about his guns again, therefore for the four week period leading up to it he was more so talking about guns, where he had been shooting and stuff which to me, it looked as though it was just a hobby he had.

Any change in his personality you could detect even looking at him? - He was very -- his personality was very dry.  He wasn't the most interesting person to have a conversation with.

Did that change? - It never changed.

In the time immediately before this incident at Dunblane? - No.

Effectively did you notice any significant change in him as a person apart from conversations dealing with guns? - No.

No cross-examination.

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Copyright © 2016 William Burns. All rights reserved.
Dunblane Whitewash
Dunblane City Sign
Scotland Map


Dunblane Public Inquiry
Dunblane Abandoned
Dunblane Massacre
Read the full list in the Dunblane Whitewash catalogue. LINK
Dunblane Angels
St Blane's Church Dunblane
The stained glass window in St Blane's Church, Dunblane, which commemorates the victims of the 1996 massacre.
List of the victims of the Dunblane massacre
Victoria Clydesdale
Mhairi MacBeath
Charlotte Dunn
Melissa Currie
Emma Crozier
Kevin Hassell
Ross Irvine
David Kerr
Gwen Hodson/Mayor - schoolteacher
John Petrie
Hanna Scott
Joanna Ross
Sophie North
Emily Morton
Maegan Turner
Brett McKinnon
Abigail McLennan
We know who killed the above victims, but, although we may not care, we do not know for sure who killed Thomas Hamilton, and why that person was carrying a revolver at the time!
Why did Lord Cullen try to bury William Burns' letters to him for 100 years? LINK