Thomas Watt Hamilton

DS Paul Hughes

Subject: CS: Legal-Dunblane Disclosure

Firearms Certificate - Thomas Watt Hamilton
born l0/5/52.

7 Kent Road, Stirling

I refer to the above and have to report as follows.  On Tuesday, 23rd July 1991 the Child Protection Unit,  Bannockburn, became involved in an investigation surrounding allegations regarding the above-named's treatment of a group of children whom he had taken on a summer holiday camp to Loch Lomond.  Hamilton is a self-styled 'youth leader' and as such runs boys' clubs in Dunblane, Stirling and Dunfermline.  During the course of my investigation I discovered that Hamilton was no stranger to controversy and similar investigations had been undertaken by this and Strathclyde Police Forces in the past.  Hamilton also features in local criminal Intelligence files.  Throughout my investigation I met and spoke with Hamilton on a number of occasions.  It is as a result of the impressions left with me by this man that I feel compelled to make this report.  I have recently discovered that Hamilton possesses a firearms certificate which indicates that he owns a 9mm Browning pistol and a .357 Smith and Wesson revolver.  He also has permission to acquire a .22 rifle and a 7.62 rifle.   This concerns me.  I am firmly of the opinion that Hamilton is an unsavoury character and an unstable personality.  It emerged from enquiries that he, during the course of the first week of camp, seemed to become increasingly stressed and had difficulty managing the group.  It was during one such moment that he became extremely angry and assaulted one of the boys.  This particular child was in fact assaulted three times by Hamilton during the first few days of the holiday and was eventually removed by his parents.  Furthermore, allegations were made, albeit uncorroborated, by one of the children that Hamilton induced the child to pose in various compromising positions, scantily clad in extremely ill-fitting swimming trunks for photographs.  To date these photographs have not been recovered but neither I nor the officer who interviewed the child have any reason to disbelieve that the allegations are in fact wholly true.  Convincing corroborated evidence was uncovered which confirms that two boxes containing approximately 36 slides each have not been recovered by the police despite Hamilton's claims that he handed over all of the photographs taken.   Mr. Hamilton has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal in this regard for obstructing the police.  The foregoing report, in part, conveys some of the concerns which I harbour about this man.  I firmly believe that he has an extremely unhealthy interest in young boys which to a degree appears to have been controlled to date.  It is his ploy, whenever challenged, to engage in 'smokescreen' tactics which divert attention [Ed. ~ "divert the discourse" - a Masonic ruse.] from the focal issue and this is the purpose for the profusion of correspondence to MPs, Procurators Fiscal, the Chief Constable and the like.  I would contend that Mr. Hamilton will be a risk to children whenever he has access to them and that he appears to me to be an unsuitable person to possess a firearms certificate in view of the number of occasions he has come to the adverse attention of the police and his apparent instability. LINK  The Procurator Fiscal at Stirling LINK has not yet decided on whether or not he will proceed with the case against Hamilton but at the moment it appears in all likelihood that he will not. LINK  I respectfully request that serious consideration is given to withdrawing this man's firearms certificate as a precautionary measure as it is my opinion that he is a scheming, devious and deceitful individual who is not to be trusted.

Paul Hughes
Detective Sergeant

DS Paul Hughes' encounters with Thomas Hamilton

On 23 July 1991 DS (now Chief Inspector) Paul Hughes, who was in charge of the Child Protection Unit at Bannockburn was informed of a complaint by a parent about Thomas Hamilton's camp at Mullarochy Bay which was within the area of Central Scotland Police.  This camp was held for a period of 2 weeks with some 20 boys in the age range of 6-11 years attending for part or all of the time.  It had been understood that the camp would be supervised by 4-6 adults.  In fact, the only assistance which Thomas Hamilton had was one other adult who arrived after the first week.  There were complaints about assault and the videotaping of boys.  DS Hughes assigned DC Grant Kirk and a social work colleague.  They went to the camp on 23 July and interviewed Thomas Hamilton under caution. He effectively admitted the assault but sought to justify it.  Once more there was concern about boys being required to wear black swimming trunks.

DS Hughes had not encountered Thomas Hamilton before but learned that he would be likely to be quick to complain.  He therefore decided to become involved in the investigation and visited the camp on 25 July in the company of DC Kirk.  The main purpose of this visit was to return camera equipment which Thomas Hamilton had surrendered 2 days before, but it also provided DS Hughes with an opportunity to look at the camp himself.  As regards the assault Thomas Hamilton admitted under caution to slapping a child across the face.  His justification was that the boy had been disruptive, a bully, had assaulted another child, had thrown a stone which hit another child in the eye and needed chastisement.  He also admitted to slapping the same boy across the leg and grabbing him.  Concerns had also been raised about the nature of the photographs which he had taken and about a trip to an island where the children had been forced to take part in the making of a videofilm on the lines of "The Lord of the Flies". In particular one child was forced to lie in cold water against his will.  The children were cold and wet and were dressed only in swimming trunks during a rain shower as Thomas Hamilton prevented them from putting their clothes on.  When he was asked to provide photographs he had taken Thomas Hamilton denied that he had taken any still photographs.

During his visit DS Hughes became concerned about the lack of supervision at the camp.  Half a dozen boys were running around the camp area but the others were out of sight.  They were about 400-500 yards away at a jetty and out of clear view of the camp.  It took DS Hughes some 3 or 4 minutes to walk down to the jetty where he found the boys, the youngest being only 6 years old, jumping from the jetty into a boat and back out again.  The water there was deep and not one of the boys was wearing a life jacket.  Thomas Hamilton did not know the boys were there.  When he was questioned about the potential for accidents he said that they were capable of looking after themselves and that he could provide any assistance in the event of an accident.  Some of the parents had removed their children after DC Kirk's first visit to the camp.

One of the boys who was interviewed later said that he had been singled out by Thomas Hamilton, taken alone to an individual tent and photographed in red-coloured swimming trunks.  DS Hughes feared that this boy was being singled out for special treatment and perhaps for future abuse.  Thomas Hamilton denied any such intention and denied taking such photographs.

On 30 July and in response to a request from the police he handed over 6 boxes of slides and about 150 still photographs.  There was reason to believe that he deceived the police.  DS Hughes discovered at the shop in Stirling where Thomas Hamilton had handed in what was to be developed that he had in fact received eight boxes of slides: and that a ninth had recently arrived for him.  DS Hughes did not take possession of that box at that time, but at a later date when it was handed over by Thomas Hamilton.

In the result there were two boxes of slides which were never recovered by the police.  Among the photographs which were recovered there were a large number of the particular boy who was plainly a favourite and had been given special jobs on the camp.  However, there were no photographs of him wearing red swimming trunks.  A processor in Livingston had also contacted the shop in Stirling in order to express her concern about the content of some of the photographs.  It is impossible to know whether the boxes which were not recovered by the police contained photographs which would have given rise to even greater concern.  As regards the photographs which were recovered by the police, although there were various different poses by boys wearing black swimming trunks there was no explicit indecency.  DS Hughes considered that Thomas Hamilton had been untruthful about the photographs.  The nature of them made him concerned about the "stability" of his personality and his unhealthy interest in children.

At this stage DS Hughes himself became the target of complaints by Thomas Hamilton who wrote to the Chief Constable, the Deputy Chief Constable, his MP and other persons about him.  DS Hughes continued his investigations and when he had gathered all the information which he considered relevant he decided to try to interview Thomas Hamilton under caution and give him an opportunity to respond to the allegations.  As he himself was the subject of a complaint he sought advice from colleagues and the Procurator Fiscal at Stirling as to how he should proceed.

The Procurator Fiscal, Mr K Valentine, advised him to invite Thomas Hamilton to the police office on a voluntary basis for an interview under caution.  Thomas Hamilton refused to be interviewed.  DS Hughes then delivered his very substantial report to the Procurator Fiscal on 6 September 1991.  This report included 10 charges drafted against Thomas Hamilton.  They had a brief discussion.  Mr Valentine doubted whether the report revealed sufficient evidence of criminality to merit court proceedings.  However he decided to have further enquiries made and to have the boys precognosced before reaching a final decision.  He was troubled by the contents of the report and the situation that was revealed.  He was concerned to have it confirmed that the situation had been drawn to the attention of other agencies that might have an interest.

One of the Procurator Fiscal Deputes prepared a note indicating that, in his view, there was not a great deal to substantiate many of the charges proposed by the police, with the possible exception of the charges of assault and a charge of breach of the peace based on Thomas Hamilton shouting and swearing at the boys.  When the precognitions were obtained it was noted that none of the parents had anything to add to their statements and some of them had shown concern at the thought that Thomas Hamilton was being suspected of anything untoward.  They had not stopped their children going to his clubs.

On 18 November 1991, having considered all the material, Mr W Gallagher, Procurator Fiscal Depute, decided that no criminal proceedings should be taken, marking the papers "no pro:no crime libelled: not in the public interest".  On the same date he wrote to Thomas Hamilton advising him of his decision and informing him that the police had been instructed to return his photographs to him.  Mr Gallagher's view was that in relation to some of the allegations the evidence did not indicate criminality and, where criminality was indicated, the circumstances, taken at their highest were not such as to require prosecution in the public interest.  Mr Valentine and Mr Gallagher had discussed DS Hughes' report on several occasions.  Both took the view that while the contents of the report had troubled them they were of the view that the conduct had approached but not crossed the border of criminality.

Miss Laura Dunlop in her closing submission also maintained that proceedings could have been taken against Thomas Hamilton in respect of charges 2-7 of those framed by DS Hughes.  Mr Bonomy pointed out that the evidence plainly indicated that the child who had been struck by Thomas Hamilton had obviously been behaving in a violent and bullying manner.

Once again the question of whether proceedings could have been taken against Thomas Hamilton does not turn on any matter which is properly within my province to review.  There is no question of the decision not to prosecute turning on any view of the law which can be seen to be mistaken.  Thus there is no basis for my entertaining criticism of the decision taken by the Procurator Fiscal.

During the course of these investigations DS Hughes discovered that Thomas Hamilton had a firearms certificate.  While the papers were before the Procurators Fiscal and anticipating that no proceedings would be taken against Thomas Hamilton, he submitted a memorandum dated 11 November 1991 to the Detective Superintendent, CID Headquarters, in which he requested that serious consideration should be given to withdrawing the firearms certificate as a precautionary measure.

Thomas Hamilton made a formal complaint about DS Hughes which was investigated by Chief Inspector Ferguson.   His report completely exonerated DS Hughes.  In his report Chief Inspector Ferguson stated: "I have completed 30 years police service, a long number of these as a CID Officer.  Throughout these years I interviewed many hard criminals, many aggressive people, many reluctant witnesses, many complainers against the police but I can honestly say the interviews with Mr Hamilton were the most exasperating of my career".  Not satisfied with this result Thomas Hamilton complained about the way in which Chief Inspector Ferguson had carried out his investigation but nothing came of this.  The Chief Constable sought advice from the Department of Administration and Legal Services of Central Regional Council about the raising of proceedings for defamation against Thomas Hamilton in respect of his statements about officers of Central Scotland Police, but it was considered that such proceedings would not deter him and would give him the opportunity to air his views about a conspiracy between the Scouts, the police and the Regional Council.

Thomas Hamilton also complained to the Ombudsman about the conduct of Central Scotland Police and to the Social Work Department claiming that his activities had been harassed and disrupted and his character had been defamed.  The Ombudsman dealt with this complaint by pointing out that the police lay outside his jurisdiction, and that defamation was a matter for a court of law.

See The Glasgow Herald's report from Tom Minogue's website: "Who is really being protected by Dunblane 100-year ban?" LINK

Copyright © 2016 Billy Burns. All rights reserved.
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List of the victims of the Dunblane massacre
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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