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.



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