Thursday, May 12, 2005

Application to the European Court of Human Rights

4 May 2005

Sandra Uttley (Nationality: British)
Email: SandraUttley@aol.com
Tel: 01947 840071

COUNTRY AGAINST WHICH I AM MAKING MY APPLICATION: BRITAIN/SCOTLAND

IN BREACH OF ARTICLE 2 OF THE ECHR (see below)

To:
The Registrar
European Court of Human Rights
Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex
France

The Cullen Inquiry into the Shootings at Dunblane Primary School was set up under the terms of the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921. An Inquiry set up under the 1921 Act is as a result of an incident that causes grave public concern and is necessary to allay public anxiety. Such inquiries are investigative in nature and therefore involved in fact finding. It is imperative that such an Inquiry is seen to be independent, transparent and effective. The sealing of all the original Inquiry papers for 100 years has inhibited the allaying of public concern. Ultimately, the Dunblane Inquiry was not transparent as the public did not see the original documents.

Furthermore, where lives have been taken, the Right to Life under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights must be taken into consideration. Article 2 imposes on the state both negative obligations not to take life intentionally, and positive obligations to protect life. Article 2 requires an investigation that is independent from those implicated in the events under scrutiny. The Crown Office decision to have Central Scotland Police - the licensing authority for Thomas Hamilton’s firearms certificate – carry out the investigation into the background to the murders and attempted murders at Dunblane Primary School on 13 March 1996 is therefore in contravention of Article 2.

Secondly, Article 2 requires that, where the right to life is engaged, an inquiry must not only be independent but also effective in providing a sufficient explanation for the circumstances of the death(s). Given the glaring anomalies in the Dunblane Inquiry – inconsistencies in witness testimony, incorrect information given on oath by certain witnesses, the absence of vital witnesses – I allege that Lord Cullen’s Inquiry into the shootings at Dunblane Primary School was ineffective. As a member of the public and a former resident of Dunblane, my concerns about the Dunblane massacre have certainly not been allayed. As a consequence I have been made a victim of the British state cover-up of the truth about the Dunblane Massacre.

The state is under a duty to properly investigate deaths that are not directly caused by public authorities or where the state might have in some way contributed to the death or provided the opportunity for it. The Dunblane Inquiry was set up under the terms of the 1921 Act for this reason. In failing to meet the terms of that Act I allege that my human rights as a member of the British public have been breached. Given that the European Convention on Human Rights has been in existence since 1950, the conditions relating to Article 2 and the Right to Life should have been observed at the Dunblane Inquiry. I have been making my concerns known to the Scottish Executive, the Scottish Crown Office and the British Government for over 2 years. My request for a New Inquiry has continually been refused.

The Cullen Inquiry into the Shootings at Dunblane Primary School did not meet the following essential criteria:

1/ INDEPENDENCE: Central Scotland Police was chosen to investigate the background to the murders by Thomas Hamilton, even though they were implicated in the events under scrutiny;

2/ TRANSPARENCY: the original preparatory material from the Dunblane Inquiry has been (illegally) locked away for 100 years, despite the public never having had the chance to see these documents;

3/ EFFECTIVENESS: Lord Cullen did not read any of the preparatory material; certain witnesses gave ‘incorrect’ information on oath; other witnesses gave testimony different to what they said in their original police statement; vital witnesses were not called to give evidence.

All-in-all, the Dunblane Inquiry was ineffective in providing a sufficient explanation for the circumstances of the deaths of 16 schoolchildren and their teacher, and the attempted murder of a further 12 children and 3 teachers. The human rights of many people were breached – before, during and after the Dunblane incident – but I am taking this case as a private individual as an act of moral concern, and because of the severe distress caused to myself as a consequence of this massacre in the small town where I lived, and the delays and obfuscation in correspondence with the British state over the last 2 years.

Yours sincerely
Sandra Uttley

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Do you care?

Does anybody care that sixteen 5-year-old children and their teacher were gunned down at school and the truth about why this happened has been covered up by the State?

Monday, April 25, 2005

WHO KILLED THOMAS HAMILTON?

Mystery still surrounds the death of Thomas Hamilton on 13 March 1996. We have always been led to believe that after a 3 minute rampage in which he shot dead 16 children and their teacher and injured 12 other children and 2 teachers, he then turned the gun on himself. Questions are still being asked about whether this was really the case. Hidden away for 100 years is the autopsy report on Thomas Hamilton.

Many will wonder why the reality of how Hamilton met his death matters. No-one would disagree that after the hideous and unbelievable carnage he caused, he was better off dead. However, how he met his end will tell us an awful lot more about the background to the massacre. If he was shot dead after just 3 minutes, that suggests someone knew what Hamilton planned to do.

Hamilton was not the loner that Lord Cullen and sections of the press made out. He actually had many “friends”, although they preferred to describe themselves as acquaintances when giving evidence at the inquiry in 1996. His most regular visitors continued coming right until the end, say Grace and Jim Ogilvie, Hamilton’s immediate neighbours. Yet nearly all those who knew Hamilton claimed, at the inquiry, that they hadn’t seen him for several months. Mr and Mrs Ogilvie know that the men who regularly turned up in large flashy cars to visit Hamilton continued doing so right up to13 March 1996. They saw them. Another neighbour, Cathleen Kerr gave a statement to the police that she saw Hamilton getting out of a grey saloon car on that final fateful morning. He was cheerful, she said. And he waved to the driver before going over to the white van to scrape ice off the windscreen. Both Mrs Kerr and another neighbour Comrie Deuchars saw no apparent change in his demeanour. He certainly did not seem depressed. Quite the opposite. Mrs Kerr says he was actually more cheerful and chatty in those last few days.

Did Hamilton have a “getaway car” planned? Were all his letters to the Queen, and the press, and his MP during that last week really a signal that he at last intended to leave the small town where rumours about him were rife? It was a source of amazement to some that Hamilton continued to live in a place where there was so much rumour and gossip about him. Was he conned – by an accomplice – into believing that after carrying out his act of revenge against the people of Dunblane that a new life beckoned?

The first ambulance on the scene arrived at 9.57am. The crew, Alison Irvine and Lesley Haire, came from Callander Ambulance Station. They were met at the main entrance to the school by Ron Taylor, the headteacher. He told them they were the first there and that about 12 children were dead and a similar number injured. Lesley Haire went back to the ambulance to radio up that this was a major incident, whilst Mr Taylor led Alison to the gym, telling her that what she was about to see was like something out of a “film-set”. She was met at they gym door by a man who described himself as an “off-duty police officer”. She asked for confirmation that it was safe to go in, and was told by this man that Hamilton was definitely dead. The off-duty police officer was not called to give evidence at the inquiry. Why, when he was such a vital witness? The person who is said to have seen Hamilton shoot himself is David Scott, a student teacher. He wasn’t called to give evidence at the inquiry either. Why, when he was such a vital witness?

The police, in their evidence at the inquiry, said they were on scene at 9.50am. Alison says that there were no uniformed police officers or police cars there when she arrived at 9.57.

There was even a difference of opinion between the headteacher Mr Taylor and a police officer, DS John Ogg, about whether Mr Taylor actually made a 999 call, or phoned a direct number at Stirling Police HQ. None of the solicitors – not even those acting for the bereaved parents – made any attempt to have such an important matter clarified. DS John Ogg stated that the police log showed it was not a 999 call. This piece of evidence was not even asked to be seen.

The Scene of Crime Officers, Malcolm Chisholm and Donald Scobie, have had their witness statements, diagrams relating to their statements and “toolmark examinations” hidden away for 100 years. This is very interesting. We were led to believe that Hamilton turned away from the gym and faced the wall when he shot himself. Yet it would appear that he was found lying on his back with his head near the wall. Two bullet holes were seen in that wall just 6 inches from the ground. Did Hamilton administer these final 2 (2!!) bullets to his head whilst lying down? It does not make sense. Lord Cullen does not even refer in his report to the bullet(s) used by Hamilton to kill himself.

Those who knew Hamilton know for certain he didn’t kill himself. Doreen Hagger says “he was far too much of a coward”. At the 1988 camp on Inchmoan Island she did all she could to protect the boys from Hamilton’s sadistic cowardly bullying. One day she encouraged the boys to collect spiders and other creepy crawlies to put in his sleeping bag. He freaked out that night. Then when the island was ‘invaded’ by geese, Hamilton sought protection from Mrs Hagger… It is a myth that those who take their own life are cowards. Cowards take the life of others, whilst wishing to preserve their own. Who did kill Hamilton? And why?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Perjury or an Innocent Mistake?

LETTER I SENT TO EVERY WESTMINSTER MP IN JANUARY 2005

24 January 2005

DUNBLANE INQUIRY COVER-UP
AN ISSUE OF NATIONAL PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

I, Sandra Uttley, formerly of 2 Post Office Bldgs DUNBLANE (at the time of the Dunblane incident) and ________ (post incident, as the partner of Mick North whose daughter Sophie was killed in the tragedy) and Walmer Cottage DUNBLANE (till Sept 2003) wish to petition the House of Commons to bring about a New Inquiry into the truth about the tragic events of 13 March 1996 when 16 schoolchildren and their teacher lost their lives.

Now residing at ______________

My MP, Dr Ashok Kumar, has a copy of my petition (from 18 May 2004) and although parliamentary protocol normally requires that I pursue this solely through my own MP, I believe that this is an issue of such serious national importance that all MPs must be informed about the lies that were told at the original Dunblane Inquiry. Please contact Dr Kumar for a copy of my petition and/or contact me for further details.

One of the questions that no-one is prepared to answer is the following:

WHERE DID THOMAS HAMILTON GO ON THE MORNING OF THE TRAGEDY?

In his original witness statement, Acting Detective Constable Graham Capes said CCTV cameras picked up Hamilton's van leaving Stirling on the morning of March 13, 1996 at 08.44 and 08.46. The journey to Dunblane primary school would normally take about 15 minutes but Hamilton did not arrive there until 09.30. At the Inquiry, ADC Capes – on oath – said there were sightings of Hamilton’s van leaving Stirling at 09.12 (the above CCTV times from his original statement were ignored). Thus, ADC Capes committed perjury and so perverted the course of justice. And the question remains, why?

When you consider the lengths the Soham Inquiry went to to establish the exact details of Ian Huntley’s movements on the evening of Sunday 4 August 2002, it beggars belief that those representing the different parties at the Dunblane Inquiry asked so few questions about Hamilton’s last few hours.

I have written to Lord Cullen 3 times asking if he or anyone else enquired into what Hamilton did in the missing half hour on the morning of 13 March 1996. Lord Cullen's answer to this question - via his secretary Glynis McKeand - is that he did not read any of the preparatory material, including police statements. That is some admission, given that there were over 1,000 witness statements taken, yet less than 200 witnesses gave evidence at the Inquiry....

In Chapter C of the productions given to all the counsel at the Inquiry, Statement 701/C states the following:

Acting Detective Constable, no. 605, Graham Capes, Criminal Investigation Department, Stirling – aged 26 – service 5 and a half years

The witness finally viewed tape number 000346 dated 3rd March (presumably this is a typing mistake – it should read 13th March 1996 - otherwise why was this evidence included?) At 0844 hours, camera number 6 shows a white van fitting description Ford Escort motor van, registration number M394 KB0 travelling on Burghmuir Road, Stirling heading north west towards Burghmuir Roundabout, Camera number 4 at 0846 hours shows the vehicle travelling round the roundabout and appearing to exit towards Kerse Road, Stirling.

I have copies of some of the original documents from Lord Cullen’s Inquiry and these expose many inconsistencies in evidence given by several witnesses. The conclusions drawn by Lord Cullen about the Dunblane incident cannot therefore be trusted. It is imperative that a full judicial inquiry is held to look into these matters.


ON 6 OCT 2004 I WROTE TO SCOTLAND'S FIRST MINISTER ABOUT THIS MATTER. MY LETTER WAS PASSED TO THE LORD ADVOCATE. SIX MONTHS LATER I RECEIVED THIS REPLY.

Letter from Karen McGuigan, Private Secretary to the Lord Advocate.

8 April 2005

Dear Ms Uttley

Thank you for your letter of 6 October 2004 to the First Minister in which you ask him to address the questions put by you in page 4 of your petition. In your petition you allege that DC Graham Capes committed perjury in relation to his evidence at the Dunblane Inquiry. The First Minister has asked the Lord Advocate to reply to this question as the Lord Advocate has Ministerial responsibility for the investigation and prosecution of crime. I am replying on behalf of the Lord Advocate and apologise for the delay in responding to you. Your correspondence was misplaced in the intervening period.

A transcript of his evidence and the information provided in DC Capes' police statement has been carefully examined and it is clear that he made a mistake in his evidence to Lord Cullen about the timing of the sighting of Thomas Hamilton's van on 13 March 1996.

Perjury is committed where a person wilfully makes an unequivocal false statement on oath or by affirmation in any judicial proceedings. In his evidence DC Capes stated that he believed the time was 0912 when the van was seen, but from the transcript it would seem that he was not referred to his statement or any documentary production. Had he been referred to his statement he would no doubt have clarified whether he in fact meant 0912 or the earlier time mentioned in his statement. At its highest this would seem to be an error and could not in any way be construed as an attempt to commit perjury or to defeat the end of justice.

In those circumstances it would be inappropriate to comment further on the points raised in your petition. To do so would call for speculation about Thomas Hamilton's state of mind and his actions on 13 March 1996 before he went to Dunblane Primary School, for which, as has been indicated to you previously, there is no independent evidence.

Yours sincerely
Karen McGuigan
Private Secretary

MY REPLY TO THE LORD ADVOCATE

13 April 2005

Colin Boyd, Lord Advocate
Lord Advocate’s Chambers
25 Chambers Street
Edinburgh EH1 1LA

Dear Mr Boyd

Thank you for your letter of 8 April 2005, sent via your Private Secretary Karen McGuigan. I note that you consider DC Capes’ “made a mistake in his evidence to Lord Cullen about the timing of the sighting of Thomas Hamilton’s van on 13 March 1996” rather than committed perjury. I wonder if you could explain to me why, when all the counsel to the Inquiry had copies of the preparatory material in front of them – containing DC Capes’ original witness statement – not one of them corrected him on his mistake? From my reading of the transcript of the Inquiry, whenever a witness “made a mistake” or gave “incorrect information”, Mr Bonomy (and it was Mr Bonomy who dominated the show) would correct the witness. However, we can leave that matter aside for now – I’m sure this is an area the European Court will be better able to deal with – and return to the matter of Hamilton’s movements on the morning of 13 March 1996.

Given that DC Capes’ made a mistake in his evidence and the CCTV times of 08.44 and 08.46 are now confirmed as correct, I would be very grateful if you could advise me if there was a police report on where Hamilton went in the missing half hour, given that it only takes 15 minutes to drive from Stirling to Dunblane.

Were there any further CCTV sightings? Did the police investigate who the driver of the grey saloon car was, as the driver of that car was obviously one of the last people to talk to Hamilton that morning. To remind you, Hamilton was seen by his neighbour Cathleen Kerr, getting out of or standing beside a grey saloon car parked outside his house some time between 08.00 and 08.40. The latter time seems the most accurate, given that it would only take about 4 minutes to drive from Hamilton’s house to the Burghmuir roundabout where the CCTV times were recorded. In any criminal trial, the movements of the ‘accused’ before they commit their crime are usually scrupulously examined. That crucial one and a half hours (08.00 to 09.30) on 13 March 1996 must have been the subject of a police report and I would be very grateful if you could advise me if this was the case. For you to suggest there is no “independent evidence” about Thomas Hamilton’s actions “before he went to Dunblane Primary School” is therefore incorrect. Mrs Kerr was not called to give evidence at the Inquiry, yet she may have been able to provide a description of one of the last people to talk to Thomas Hamilton on the morning of 13 March 1996. I look forward to hearing from you on the above matters as soon as possible.



Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Will We Ever Know the Truth?

It is less than a year till the 10th anniversary of the Dunblane Massacre (13 March 2006). Sixteen children and their teacher were gunned down at school by Thomas Hamilton on 13 March 1996. The truth about these murders was covered up at Lord Cullen's Inquiry into the Shootings at Dunblane Primary School. I know that for a fact. I have some of the original documents - documents now locked away for 100 years. From now until the 10th anniversary I will detail here the lies that were told.

THE DENIAL OF DUNBLANE

“Evil isn’t an army that besieges a city from outside the walls. It is a native of the city. It is the mutiny of the garrison, the poison in the water, the ashes in the bread”
(Charles Morgan)


It began in Dunblane itself, inevitably. Like all other debilitating psychological conditions, it kicked in as a sort of protective device, safeguarding our numbness in the face of unspeakable horror. But in the end, it served only to cause immeasurable harm. The brave words about (eventual) ‘recovery’ in those days of hell in the middle of March 1996, were preparing the way for even greater denials to come. How inappropriate, looking back, that ‘recovery’ should have been on anybody’s mind with sixteen dead children not yet buried, the injured still receiving hospital treatment. They hadn’t even had an opportunity to begin their own personal recoveries. And for the bereaved, what hope of real recovery? The rest of us really didn’t matter, but it was for our benefit apparently, that the deniers of Dunblane set to work in ‘restoring order’ and ‘calm’, ready for our eventual recovery. Mutiny of the garrison.

Is this what people really wanted and needed to hear? From the very beginning did we have absolutely no intention of actually confronting what happened at Dunblane? Who sets these agendas?