Memorandum submitted by Margaret and James
On 10 April 1991 Diane, daughter of Margaret
and James Watson, was murdered in the grounds of Whitehall Secondary
School, Glasgow, during morning recess by Barbara Glover. Both
were aged 16 and pupils at the school. Barbara Glover was convicted
of Diane's murder and on 26 July 1991 was sentenced to Unlimited
Time and committed to Kerelaw Secure Unit. In August of that year
the Glasgow Herald published a column, written by Jack
McLean, and in September 1992 an article was published in Marie
Claire Magazine, which included totally false accounts of
why Barbara Glover murdered Diane Watson. The articles, in essence,
played down Glover's responsibility for the murder in terms of
the extent of Diane's injuries and allegations of provocation.
Mr McLean went on to publish two further columns on the subject
in February and December 1992.
Inbetween publication of these two further Glasgow
Herald articles, and after the Marie Claire article,
Diane Watson's younger brother Alan committed suicide, discovered
with copies of the relevant cuttings in his hand. The family had
been in contact with social services in advance of this tragedy
to seek assistance after signs of strain but none had been forthcoming.
By the time the December McLean article was published in the Glasgow
Herald the matter had been raised by the family's local MP
in the House of Commons (Adjournment Debate on 9 December 1992).
The December article was published on the day of Alan Watson's
funeral (Mr McLean was later to deny knowledge of Alan Watson's
suicide at the time of writing; this despite reference to the
debate, in which the fact featured prominently, and "further
tragedies" in the article in questionsee Annex 1).
Mr McLean, of the Herald, has stated that the
motivation to comment on the Glover case was a concern for all
involved with the case, including the child who committed the
murder. In a letter to the then Mr Michael Martin MP, Mr McLean
states his basis for the article was contact with the solicitors
and counsel for both defence and prosecution as well as doctors,
teachers and local people involved with both families. However,
statements secured from the Watson's doctor and by the Whitehall
Headteacher, who surveyed his staff, totally contradicted Mr McLean's
assertions. In addition Mr McLean himself has stated to Margaret
Watson in a meeting secured by her at the Glasgow Herald
after extreme effort that the piece was "not based
on any knowledge of the evidence presented at Barbara Glover's
trial" (see Annex 1).
The Marie Claire article was claimed
to have been based on an interview, or exchanges, with Barbara
Glover conducted in the margins of the filming of a TV documentary
at the Kerelaw unit. The author, Ms Meg Henderson, described her
motivation in similar terms used by Mr McLean. The occurrence
of a full interview, and its proper authorization, has been disputed.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary
of State for Scotland, said in the House of Commons on 9 December
1992 that he understood "no interview with the girl took
place ... We are aware of the media overtures to her, which she
has steadfastly refused, and we have no reason to believe that
she acted differently on this occasion." The journalist,
on the other hand, is adamant, to the point of pursuing legal
proceedings, that the appropriate authority (in this case Strathclyde
Regional Council Social Work Department) gave permission and meetings
took place in September 1991 as stated. (Annex 2)
The magazine claimed that the factual content
of the article was based on the proceedings of Barbara Glover's
trial; suggesting that a transcript was available to it. However,
this subsequently demonstrated by Mrs Watson not to be the case.
Contemporary press reporting of the trial was the source (not
in itself unusual) but an actual transcript of the trial obtained
by the Watsons (at significant cost), as well as the annotated
press cuttings shown them by Marie Claire, showed clearly
that the downplaying of Barbara Glover's responsibility for Diane
Watson's murder was based solely on arguments put forward by the
defence counsel during the trial. There was no reference in the
article to the fact that these arguments were strongly disputed
by the prosecution to the satisfaction of the jury. The then Mr
Michael Martin MP picked up on this point during his Adjournment
Debate in December 1992; he asked why the Marie Claire
journalist had chosen the word "revealed" rather than
"alleged" when referring to the claims of provocation
made by the defence (claims that were disputed by the prosecution,
rejected by the jury and again by the court of appeal).
The toll of these events upon parents Margaret
and James Watson cannot be overstated and include serious illness.
Nevertheless, over the years they have made considerable efforts
to secure retractions and apologies from the Glasgow Herald
and Marie Claire, as well as seeking a change in policy,
regulation and/or the law relating to convicted criminals being
able to profit from publishing accounts of their crimes (the work
of campaigning group "Victims Voice"). In addition to
papers submitted to the Committeeand before that the National
Heritage Committeesee HC 294, Session 1992-93, Volume IIIthese
efforts have included: direct contact with the newspaper and the
magazine; complaint to the Press Complaints Commission; contact
with their own MP and MEP; correspondence with the Scottish and
Home Offices, the Scottish Parliament Committee's Justice Committees
and the European Commission of Human Rights and the lodging of
a Petition with the Scottish Parliament on 10 May 2002 (regarding
the wider policy issues). (Annex 4)
With specific regard to the PCC, the Watsons
made a complaint in September 1992based on the Code of
Practice as it then stood to the effect that Marie Claire
article had been inaccurate to the point of distortion and had
intruded on their privacy with tragic consequences (clauses 1
and 4). This was pursued by the family, and their solicitor, until
March 1993, at a time when both Mr and Mrs Watson were ill, when
their solicitor wrote to the PCC that his clients were satisfied
with the terms of an article to be published that month in Marie
Claire. The eventual article did not satisfy the Watsons on
a number of points and Margaret Watson attempted to reanimate
the PCC process in November 1993. The PCC declined to reopen the
case resting upon the correspondence from the Watsons' legal representative
despite the fact that the complainants' satisfaction had been
contingent on a then unpublished article. The PCC suggested that
the Watsons' complaint should now be directed at their solicitor.
(See Annex 3).
The PCC Code has always said that journalists
should be careful with inquiries at a time of "grief and
shock" (in 1992 this was not relevant because no effort was
made by either the Glasgow Herald or Marie Claire
to make any inquiries of the family of the victim of Barbara Glover).
It is interesting to note that only in 1998 the Code was amended
to include publication itself within the scope of the relevant
clause with the addition of the following sentence:
Publication must be handled sensitively at such
times, but this should not be interpreted as restricting the right
to report judicial proceedings.
The Code also requires accuracy, balance and
distinctions to be drawn between comment, conjecture and fact.
The current clause (No. 1) reads:
(i) Newspapers and periodicals must take
care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted material
(ii) Whenever it is recognised that a significant
inaccuracy, misleading statement or distorted report has been
published, it must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.
(iii) An apology must be published whenever
(iv) Newspapers, whilst free to be partisan,
must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact...
Neither of these clauses have public interest
exemptions attached to them.
The Watsons continue to campaign, alongside
other victims of serious violent crimeincluding Wendy Robinson
(who has been contacted by the murderer of her daughter, Georgina,
for "help" in promoting his memoirs) and June Richardson
(whose son Martin was murdered by Mary Bell)for legal means
of preventing criminals profiting from their crimes by way of
publishing material relating to them and, in the process, intruding
upon the families of their victims once again (whether directly
or indirectly). The PCC Code includes a relevant clause (the current
version of which dates from December 1996, as amended in March
2003) applying to the publication of accounts of crimes by the
criminals in newspapers and magazines:
*Payment or offers of payment for stories, pictures
or information, must not be made directly or through agents to
convicted or confessed criminals or to their associateswho
may include family, friends and colleaguesexcept where
the material concerned ought to be published in the public interest
and payment is necessary for this to be done.
*The clause is subject to a public interest exemption.
Obviously this cannot apply to books but the
serialisation of such books in newspapers presumably do involve
payments to criminals and, under the spirit of the Code, should
The Government claims to have been working on
this issue. In 1985, following internal reports that Mary Bell
was considering an account of her crimes, the Home Office advice
to her probation officer that "the Home Office did not favour
publication but had no power to prevent it and would not attempt
to put pressure on" (Official Report, 22 July 1998, col 547
wa). Following the actual publication of Gitta Sereny's book about
Mary Bell in 1998, the Home Secretary stated that:
"Ministers are entitled to expect that officials
will try to spot events involving their cases which are likely
to arouse controversy and provoke concern over the adequacy of
the law. I believe that officials acted in this case throughout
in good faith and in accordance with a correct interpretation
of the law. With hindsight, it is clear that there were a number
of occasions on which Ministers might reasonably have been informed
of developments in the Mary Bell case. The Permanent Secretary
has accordingly recommended to me procedural and other improvements
which will help guide Home Office staff in assessing future cases
where Ministers may need to be kept informed of developments,
even where there is no question of the exercise by them of statutory
powers. . . . I have asked officials separately to consider whether
the law relating to criminal memoirs might sensibly be strengthened."
An inter-departmental working group was set
up to look at this. The working group reported to Ministers in
1999. A blanket ban was considered incompatible with the European
Convention on Human Rights but provisions to prevent criminals
profiting from memoirs etc. were recommended for consideration.
Detailed proposals for consultation have been promised by Home
Office Ministers "in the new year", 2003 (see Annex
5). The Watsons have also submitted a related Petition to the
Scottish Parliament (see Annex 4).
Annexes: 1Statement to the Committee
from Mr and Mrs Watson; 2Letter from Ms Meg Henderson;
3Further statement to the Committee; 4Petition to
the Scottish Parliament; 5Letter from the Home Office.
28 May 2003
For the attention of the Culture, Media and
Sport Select Committee looking into intrusion of privacy by the
media I submit a summary of Jack McLean of the Glasgow Herald
Newspaper Tape dated 7 September 1993. I will be the first to
admit the McLean tape is not pleasant to listen too and I use
language that you may find offensive. I have to state to the Select
Committee 1 do not regret expressing my contempt for Mr McLean
or his Editor Mr Kemp, if they had given us an opportunity to
set the record straight when we first approached them with our
concerns I know our dear son Alan would still be here today. I
will understand if the Select Committee take the view that the
McLean tape cannot be used as part of my evidence.
Given the length of the McLean tape I felt it
would be helpful to summarise the main points of this meeting.
I would also like to take this opportunity to point-out this meeting
was arranged after I stood outside the Glasgow Herald Office for
six weeks demanding a meeting with the Editor Mr Kemp and Mr McLean.
Within the first five minutes of this meeting
you will note that Mr McLean denies he stated in his article published
the week after Barbara Glover was found Guilty on two countsCount
1 (Assaulting Diane on the 9 April 1991) Count 2 (Murdering Diane
on the 10 of April 1991) that Diane came from upper working class
and looked down on Barbara Glover (The Convicted Murderer of Diane)
with a snobbish disdain that comes for the labour the labour aristocracyYou
will note in McLean's enclosed article I have highlighted the
statement he so vehemently denies writing.
You will also note McLean tries to justify this
statement by claiming that Barbara Glover was not loved or looked
after by her family, Diane was. Our then MP Mr Michael Martin
made it very clear that McLean did make that statement in his
article. Michael Martin also made it very clear to McLean that
Barbara Glover was a problem pupil from another School and should
not have been in Whitehill Secondary School.
Although whole McLean's article is based on
class, he now states it was not based on class and was simply
trying to point-out that Diane was well looked after Glover was
not. You will note that it not what he stated in his article.
Ten minutes into the tape you will note that
Mr Arnold Kemp the then editor of The Glasgow Herald Newspaper
admits that McLean's statement about Diane coming from the labour
aristocracy would be offensive to our family. In an effort to
defend McLean Mr Kemp then went on to read out McLean article,
which you note McLean stated he carried a blade himself as young
man. Mr Michael Martin highlighted the fact that McLean did not
contact us to enquire about our background. Michael Martin again
points out to McLean that the Barbara Glover was put into Whitehill
Secondary School because she had a history of disruption in her
previous school. Michael also questioned McLean on where he got
his information that Barbara Glover's parent's choice Whitehill
Secondary School, this very important question was not answered
by McLean due to the interference of his editor Mr Kemp.
Twenty minutes into the tape you will note that
McLean denies that in his article he stated Barbara Glover should
be Free. I have highlighted this very statement for the Select
Committee. You will note that McLean tried to incorporate the
not guilty verdict given in the Charles Edward Stewart murder
trial (a case we have no knowledge off) with that of the murderer
of our dear daughter Diane (Barbara Glover) to call for her release,
the fact that the Charles Edward Stewart case had nothing in common
with the case of Barbara Glover did not seem to matter to McLean
or his Editor Mr Kemp.
McLean attempts to justify the fact that he
highlighted in his article that he carried razor as a young man.
What point he was hoping to make is beyond me.
McLean then goes on to state in his three articles
was trying to highlight the plight of young offenders. I wanted
to know why he used our daughter Diane and Barbara Glover's case
to highlight his views on the sentencing of young offenders. I
tried to point-out to McLean he should not use individual cases
to highlight his point unless he has all the fact of the case
before him. McLean then states he can't see how his articles could
have had such a devastating effect on our family. McLean admits
he has no knowledge of the evidence presented to the court at
Barbara Glover's Trial, yet if you read his articles you would
be forgiven for thinking he had sat through Barbara Glover's Trial.
You will note that when straight forward questions
are put to McLean that either his Editor Mr Kemp or his solicitor
interferes on McLean's behalf.
Michael Martin points out to Mr Kemp that as
the editor of the Glasgow Herald Newspaper he had a duty to check
his records before allowing statements to go to print. We as Diane's
parents point out to McLean that it takes a brave man to hid behind
a law that states the dead cannot be defamed.
You will note that McLean stated you can't go
around trying to overturn the verdict in the Charles Edward Stewart,
yet that is what he was trying to do for Barbara Glover, (She
should be Free), yet again Mr Kempt jumps to defence and brushed
over the fact that McLean had stated in his article that in the
Charles Edward Stewart case you cannot overturn the verdict, but
in Barbara Glover case she should be free too.
SIDE 2 MCLEAN
At the beginning of side 2 of this tape you
note that I mention invasion of privacy. Mr Kemp stated he does
not think McLean had invaded our privacy as it was a case that
came before the court and McLean is perfectly entitled to use
McLean stated in his article that Barbara Glover's
case was hampered a complete lack of knowledge by absolutely everyone,
yet when we requested he provide evidence of this complete lack
of knowledge he could not provide any so he tried to divert what
he had written by stating he was making a general statement. Michael
Martin pointed-out to Mr Kemp that the inference drawn from McLean's
statement was that Barbara Glover was badly defended. McLean then
went on to state that he did not say anything untoward about any
of the individuals involved in any of his articles.
My Husband Jim Watson, quoted from one of McLean's
articles "Glover was a distressed child with no future",
then asked the question "who was more distressed Glover or
Alan, remember she was his sister?" McLean replied that the
girl who committed this dreadful deed was a distressed child,
there is no question about that, I can't answer for your son!
In his last article McLean threatened to sue
Michael Martin for the statements he made in the House of Commons
in his Early Day Motion dated 9 December 1992, I have enclosed.
Jim Watson draws to the attention of McLean
that in his letter to Michael Martin dated 15.8.1992, that he
had describe Meg Henderson's article, for the Marie Claire
Magazine as a very telling storyI trust the Committee
will note that we had to purchase the transcript of the trial
to prove that Meg Henderson's article in the Marie Claire Magazine
was not based on fact.
Twenty minutes into this side of the tape you
note that Jim Watson points-out to McLean that he was not satisfied
with the pain and anguish he caused our dear son Alan in his life,
he had continued his assault on his murdered sister the very day
of our dear son Alan's funeral (11 December 1992) by publishing
an article threatening to sue Michael Martin for his comments
in his Early Day Motion! McLean tried to justify this article
by stating he did not know Alan had died. Both my husband and
I find this excuse unforgivable given that Alan's death was Broadcasted
on TV and Radio published in numerous Newspapers. Michael Martin
pointed out to Mr Sutter given the fact that Alan had died on
the Saturday in all probability Alan's funeral would take place
I would to draw the Select Committee's attention
to the fact that Jack McLean states he did not know our dear son
Alan had died, yet Michael Martin reminded him that he must have
known Alan had died because he had made reference to his early
day motion, in Michael's Early Day Motion, reference was made
by both the Scottish Minister and Michael Martin that Alan had
died, so he could not have written that article without knowing
of Alan's death. The editor of The Glasgow Herald then
states that neither he nor any of the editors on the Glasgow
Herald had any knowledge that Alan had died, yet Mr Sutter
a senior editor, had just stated that he personally knew of Alan's
Arnold Kemp goes on to state that McLean has
a drink problem, to which McLean took great offence. If you read
any of McLean's articles in the Glasgow Herald Newspaper,
which appear every Monday you will note his life revolves around
alcohol. Michael Martin points-out to Mr Kemp the lack of accountability
within the Glasgow Herald. Mr Kemp then went on to state
that it is regrettable that our family have been hurt, but he
would not sacked McLean. Our dear son Alan died with McLean's
and Meg Henderson's articles in his hand and Mr Kemp referrers
Alan's death as hurt!!!
Arnold Kemp stated that McLean was honest, we
put it to Mr Kemp do you think McLean was correct in this case,
Mr Kemp states he does not agree with McLean in this case, yet
he still refuses to sack him.
Near the end of side 2 of this tape it is put
McLean that he stated in a letter to Michael Martin, dated the
15.8.1991, that he had spoken to both doctors, teachers and neighbours
involved with both families. Please note that 1 have provided
statements from our Doctor and the Headmaster of Whitehill Secondary
School which proves McLean had given yet another false statement
to Michael Martin. McLean then goes on to state he did not claim
in his letter to Michael Martin that he spoken to doctors, teachers
and neighbours of both families, he then goes on to state he had
spoken to Barbara Glover's doctor. Yet we as the parents of Diane
and Alan are powerless to take action against McLean or the Glasgow
Herald Newspaper and editor of The Glasgow Herald Newspaper
is more than happy to have him on his staff.
Michael Martin points out to Mr Kemp that it
has been an uphill struggle in our case to get some sort of redress
from your newspaper and the Marie Claire Magazine and perhaps
Mr Kemp you should reconsider how he can redress the balance when
there is damage done by a reporter, it's not through your readers
page. We then go on to discuss how we had been treated by the
Glasgow Herald Newspaper when we had originally requested
a meeting with McLean and Mr Kemp (1 state on the tape a few months,
in fact it was a few days after McLean original article)
SUMMARY OF RELEVANT ARTICLES IN THE GLASGOW
1. "Diane had the Smart White Socks of
The Daughter of The Labour Aristocracy, Glover did not. And Looked
Down on others with Disdain".
If McLean had taken the time to find out more
about Glover's victim, Diane Watson and her family background
he would have known that Jim Watson had been unemployed for two
years and had only managed to get casual work in the post office
which meant one week he could be working the next not. And that
I was working part time for very low wages as a school dinning
attendant. For three years we had struggled to keep a roof over
our heads and food on the table. No one in their right mind could
possibly perceive us as the Labour Aristocracy by any stretch
of the imagination.
2. "In A Culture In Which Getting A
Blade to Threaten Another Adolescent is not Uncommon. I Told You
Once I carried One Myself".
McLean makes a lot of his personal exploits
as a teenager, how he carried a razor. Instead of taking this
opportunity to condemn the carrying of knives McLean is in fact
trying to justify Glover's actions by continually reminding his
readers that he personally carried one. Any right thinking person
must condemn his views on the carrying of weapons as unethical
especially given the context of McLean's article. One young girl
(Diane) was dead because another. (Glover) carried one with the
clear intent of doing bodily harm.
3. "That Hardened Young Killer Was
So Hardened that She Wet Herself in The Dock Once: Is That Likely
To Be The Sort Of Thing Which Some Appalling Young Psychopath
Would Do. Is it not More Likely to be What a Frightened Child
We were there throughout the trial, as were
most of our family and Glover most certainly did not Wet Herself
In The Dock. This is just another example of McLean Presenting
a completely false picture to his readers in order to gain public
sympathy for Glover.
4. "In That Moment Of Madness This
Poor And Distressed Child", (Glover)
Glover herself stated in court that she had
placed the kitchen knife in her school bag the night before. And
was it a moment of madness to run out of her class hide near the
tunnel that she knew Diane would be passing under and lay in wait
for Diane to come out of her class. Glover was the pursuer not
This man simply refuses to accept that it was
Diane who was being tormented by Glover, it was Diane who had
a large kitchen knife thrust into her body, it was Diane herself
who pulled the knife out of her body. The thought of our dear
daughter Diane pulling out that knife from her body is to much
to bear. Dear God! it is like something straight out of a horror
movie. This is something we personally will never come to terms
5. "That The Law Cannot Protect Children
From The Effects Of Such A Tragedy, Both Victims Is Disgraceful".
How was the law or anyone else suppose to protect
Diane, when absolutely no one knew what was behind Glover's aggression,
except Glover and Silvestro. There is only one true innocent victim
in all this and that's Diane. Glover attacked Diane with malice
of forethought and left her to die an agonising death. Glover
had a choice Diane did not.
6. "Nobody In The Court Could Possibly
Understand The Peculiar Circumstances Of Playground Confrontations
In Inner City Schools. I Told You Once I Carried A Blade Myself".
McLean running out of ideas of blaming the innocent
murdered victim Diane for her own murder, then blames the legal
system for Glover's plight. McLean's logic is beyond belief, here
is a man who was not present at any stage during the trial, who
did not hear any of the evidence, decrying the judge, jury and
the QCs for not understanding. They heard the evidence he did
7. "Right Now As you Read This, There
is a Lost And Distressed Child Locked Up and with no Future to
Look Forward to".
McLean's ends his attack on the truly innocent,
Diane, by asking his readers to consider Glover's plight. What
about Diane and her hopes and dreams for the future, what about
the added pain and distress McLean's ill informed article had
on us as a family. And in particular our son Alan. The fact is
given his past exploits as teenager McLean refused to accept that
justice had been done in this case and decided he would campaign
on Glover's behalf. In order to get public opinion on his side
he set out to blacken Diane's character.
DATED 26 FEBRUARY
McLean compares Diane's murder with that of
a young student Paul Moore and brings class into his argument
yet again. We personally know very little of the true facts of
the Charles Edward Stuart case. As we were not in court to hear
the evidence so unlike McLean we cannot comment on the rights
or wrongs of this case.
We as Diane's Family were outraged by the misleading
manner in which McLean sought to compare both cases. We felt that
anyone reading his article could be forgiven in believing that
Diane had pursed Glover with a weapon with the clear intent to
do her bodily harm. McLean outlined the Charles Edward Stuart
case, but gave no details of the Glover case.
McLean clearly has no regard for Glover's murdered
victim Diane, as a human being, as young girl with her whole life
in front of her, who studied hard and who's only ambition was
to work with children.
1. "Young Girl Who Was Last Year Sent
into Incarceration, Without Limit Of Time. She Was A Child Who
Stabbed Another Girl In A playground. She Is Working Class".
Omitting the fact that her victim had a name
and was also working class. That Diane had worked part time after
school each Tuesday, Thursday and all day Saturdays and helped
us out financially as her dad was unemployed for two years. When
she finished her work on the Tuesdays Diane then went straight
on to help out as a volunteer and as a youth leader in a local
toddlers group. Diane had a full and active life in the community
and we as her family were and still are very proud of her. Diane
was stolen from us by Glover now McLean was determined to steal
all we had left to remember her by. Diane's character.
2. "Charles Edward Stuart Is Free And
So He Should Be. Young Barbara Should be as Well. She Should Be
McLean deliberately refuses to accept that events
and circumstances of both cases are completely different and he
was deliberately demeaning Diane's memory by making comparisons
in this article. Charles Edward Stewart is free because as McLean
had stated Paul Moor was carrying a weapon and according to McLean
went out looking for Stewart. Diane was not carrying a weapon
of any kind, nor did she go looking for Glover, in fact when Glover
confronted her Diane tried to ignore her and kept on walking.
For McLean to draw comparisons must be considered unacceptable.
Then to state that Stewart is FREE and so should Glover, SHE SHOULD
BE FREE. On what does he base this argument on, not on the facts
of the Glover case, but on the Charles Edward Stewart case.
3. "Her Defence By The Hapless Lord
MacAulay ( IN This Case ) Was Hampered By A Lack Of Knowledge
By Absolutely Everybody".
McLean is clearly implying here that the true
facts of the case was not put before the court. He admitted to
us on tape (a copy of which we have enclosed) that he knew nothing
as to the facts of the case, yet he is attacking everyone who
was at the court and heard all the evidence. WHY WOULD HE NOT
LET OUR DEAR DAUGHTER REST IN PEACE AND ALLOW US TO TRY AND COME
TO TERMS WITH HER TERRIBLE MURDER.
4. "That Sympathy Was Expressed To
One Young Man Because He Was A student And Middle Class".
By summing up in this manner McLean is once
more misleading his readers into believing that both murders were
self defence. And the only reason Glover was found guilty was
because she was from a working class background.
5. "Dispossessed Even Of Their Freedom".
McLean ignore's the fact that Glover's innocent
victim is laying in her coffin drained of her lives blood and
she doesn't know why. Glover will still be a young woman when
she is set free and if she is so inclined will have a family of
her own. Our family is now extinct thanks to articles such as
DATED 11 DECEMBER
McLean and the Glasgow Heralds editor
Arnold Kemp showed a cruel insensitivity towards the innocent
victim that they helped to create Alan Watson. Although McLean
and his editor tried to deny that they knew that Alan had died
and would be buried on the very day this article was published.
McLean states very clearly in this article that he knew that Alan
had died. He knew and simply didn't care. After all he regarded
our family as upper class snobs who looked down on others with
1. "This Was A Tragic Case And Further
Tragedies Have Fallowed", there is no doubt that he knew
Alan was dead. Our views as to McLean and Henderson's part in
our dear son's death were widely publicised. McLean confirms in
this article that he knew of Alan's death by referring to Michael
Martin's adjournment debate in the House Of Commons on the 9 December
1992. The fact that Alan had died was mentioned both by Michael
Martin and Lord James Douglas Hamilton. The adjournment debate
was covered by a journalist from the Glasgow Herald.
This man McLean had consistently and violently
attacked our dear murdered daughter Diane's reputation in order
to put to his readers a case for Glover. He had no hesitation
in grossly misleading his readers to make his point, knowing full
well that we as Diane's family would have no course of redress
as British law states That the dead cannot by defamed. That is
the law that McLean and Henderson are hiding behind. He then has
the audacity to accuse both Michael Martin and Lord James Douglas
Hamilton of hiding behind Parliamentary Privilege. He then states
"Let Them Repeat This Outside The House And He Will Sue Them
Horribly" McLean then states that both he and Henderson as
journalist have more knowledge of working class life than that
of Michael Martin or Lord James Douglas Hamilton. The fact is
that class played no part in our daughters murder at any stage
during the trial and if he had done proper research before embarking
on his ill funded attack on Diane he would have known that.
The same to another innocent family and they
like us will not be allowed to an automatic right of reply no
matter how much evidence they have to prove that the innocent
murdered victim had been grossly misrepresented.
They must be held accountable for the added
pain and distress they have caused us as a family, but much more
importantly the mental turmoil they caused our dear son Alan.
McLean said "why add a tragedy to a tragedy".
That is exactly what he and Henderson and their editors have managed
to achieve. The Scottish legal system states that the dead cannot
be defamed. They are dead therefore they cannot be hurt. So there
is no case to answer. This is a crime against humanity for it
is giving unscrupulous journalist such as Henderson and McLean
a free reign to attack the truly innocent knowing only to well
that the victim's family have no automatic right of a full retraction
or failing that a right of redress in a court of law.
The Scottish legal aid system does not allow
funding for legal action on behalf of the murdered victim. Yet
if it was the convicted murderer who was being defamed by the
press they would have the automatic right to a free copy of the
transcript of the trial in order to prove their case and free
legal advice and representation.
We can only thank you for giving us this opportunity
to put our case before you. And to ask you not to hesitate in
contacting us if you have an questions that you wish to put to
us. If you should decide to dismiss this application please at
least give us the opportunity to speak to you in person, as we
are more than willing to come to your office and put our case
LETTER FROM NICOLSON O'BRIEN, SOLICITORS
TO STRATHCLYDE REGIONAL COUNCIL
We have been consulted by Journalist, Meg Henderson
in connection with a report printed in the Glasgow Herald
Newspaper on 14 January, 1993. In this report, titled "Mother
Defends Daughter Diane", reference is made to an earlier
article written by our client published in the Magazine "Marie
Claire" in September, 1992, under the title "British
Children Serving Life Sentences".
This earlier article made reference, to an interview
which took place at Kerlaw Detention Unit between Meg Henderson
and an inmate of the Unit, Barbara Glover. The report in the Glasgow
Herald details that criticism was levelled at this article
and goes on to state that both Scottish Office Minister, Lord
James Douglas Hamilton and Strathclyde Region Social Work Department
have said that no interview took place.
Our client's position is that an interview did
take place with Barbara Glover at the Kerlaw Detention Unit, and
furthermore her attendance at the Unit was arranged through the
Offices of the Social Work Department.
It should be noted that Mr Fred Edwards, the
Director of Strathclyde Regional Council Social Work Department
was personally aware of the circumstances of the attendance by
Meg Henderson at Kerlaw Detention Unit.
Meg Henderson visited the Kerlaw Detention Unit
in September, 1991 together with a film unit in connection with
a Channel 4 programme "The Last Taboo" which was later
The article in Marie Claire in September,
1992 was intended to convey what it was like inside a Secure Unit
and was based on the conversations Meg Henderson had with the
inmates, including Barbara Glover, in September, 1991. All of
this is known to the Social Work Department.
The Glasgow Herald report has caused
our client considerable distress and upset in that it has clearly
impugned her integrity as a Journalist by suggesting that she
fabricated her interview with Barbara Glover. She is even more
distressed to note that the source of the Glasgow Herald's
report that no interview took place, was actually from Strathclyde
Regional Council Social Work Department who clearly were aware
that an interview had taken place. Indeed we are advised by our
client that she wrote to Fred Edwards on the matter of mis-information
coming from his Department in connection with this matter, as
early as 14 December, 1992 and again on 14 January, 1993. She
has yet to receive the courtesy of a reply let alone public acknowledgement
and confirmation of here attendance at the unit and meetings with
As a result of the report Meg Henderson has
suffered not only personal distress and upset at the allegations
in the report, but also considerable damage to her reputation
as a Journalist. In the first instance our client is extremely
anxious that the record be set straight concerning here attendance
at Kerlaw Detention Unit. To this end we should be obliged if
you could confirm the following points by return:
1. That Meg Henderson visited the Kerlaw
Detention Unit in September, 1991 and that during the course of
this visit met with and spoke to Barbara Glover.
2. That the Social Work Department stated
to the Herald that no interview with Barbara Glover took place
together with details of the method and procedure by which such
matters are confirmed with Newspapers or other Bodies.
3. The name and position of the person who
confirmed the aforementioned details to the Glasgow Herald.
Thereafter our client is seeking a full public
apology from Strathclyde Region for the distress and upset caused
to her and her family as a result of the Social Work Department's
mistake. Please note that we have still to discuss with our client
the nature and form that this apology should take.
We may say that at this stage our client is
presently only concerned in preventing any further damage to her
reputation as a Journalist and to prevent further distress to
her and her family. Given Mr Edwards lack of response to her earlier
correspondence you will appreciate her concern. Failure to attend
to this matter as a matter of urgency may of course later result
in a subsequent claim for damages against Strathclyde Council
were negligent in their confirmation of details to the Glasgow
Herald Newspaper or any other third party.
It is to be hoped that such action will not
be necessary and we look forward to hearing from you by return.
I have been informed by Mr Mike Jempson of Press
Wise that the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee is taking
evidence on unwarranted invasion of privacy by the media. I can
only trust I am not too late in submitting the enclosed evidence
of the harrowing effect such intrusion of privacy has on innocent
murdered victims families.
You will note that I have enclosed a copy of
our Public Petition 504 (Convicted Murderers or Members of their
Families Profiting From Their Crimes) and the evidence we have
submitted PPC, you will also note that Scottish Executive has
made it very clear that even thought our PP 504 is a devolved
matter for the Scottish Executive, the Executive has taken the
view that it will not act on our PP 504 until the Home Office
Ministers have reviewed and published the evidence of the Working
Party set-up in 1999, on the publication of criminal memoirs for
I have enclosed my personal evidence submitted
to PPC of the harrowing and deadly effect such intrusion into
our private grief by the convicted murderer had on our son Alan
(Alan committed suicide on the 5 December 1992 with the Marie
Claire article in his hand-if conformation of this fact is
required I am more than confident that Strathclyde Police will
assist the Select Committee in confirming this fact) after the
publication of this deliberately false and grossly misleading
article which was published as fact in the September 1992 edition
of the Marie Claire Magazine after the murder of my dear
daughter Diane in 1991. We had to save up to purchase the transcript
of the trial, which confirms the Marie Claire article bore
no relation to the true fact of the events leading up to murder
of my dear daughter Diane. The Select Committee will be aware
that under British Law, the dead cannot be slandered, that is
a law that the murderer of my dear daughter Diane (Barbara Glover)
and the author and editor of the Marie Claire Magazine
are hid and still hiding behind.
I have also enclosed a copy of documents submitted
by Wendy Robinson the Chairperson of Victims Voice to the PPC.
I would be most grateful if Wendy Robinson and I could give our
evidence to the Select Committee in person, as our families have
been re-victimised by the convicted murderers, unethical journalist
and the publishers of our much loved and deeply missed children,
which we as the families of the innocent murdered victim could
not challenge in a court of law as the laws in this country do
not cover defamation of character of innocent murdered victims.
The Select Committee will be aware that Judiciary take the view
that the dead cannot by hurt by false or deliberately misleading
articles being publish as fact, tell that to my dear son Alan.
You will note I have enclosed a copy of our
recommendation on how innocent murdered victim's families can
be given the legal right of redress through special tribunals
or courts which the Government can set-up. Such tribunals or courts
will without a doubt end the all too common practise of unscrupulous
journalist and convicted murderers or members of their families
profiting from their murderous actions at the clear expense of
their innocent murdered victims. You will also note that the suggestions
we put before the PPC do not interfere in any way with European
Court of Human Rights act on Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Expression,
it simply gives innocent murdered victims families the basic human
right to challenge and were appropriate stop the publication of
articles written by or on behalf of convicted murderers, were
there is clear evidence that such publications are not based on
I can only trust that I will be given the opportunity
to give my evidence in person to Select Committee.
2. I have enclosed copies of my taped conversation
with Mr Austin of the Press Complaints Commission dated November
1992, you will note that Mr Austin states that our solicitor Mr
Turnbull had written to the commission stating we were satisfied
with the so-called apology published by the Marie Claire
Magazine in April 1993. I would like to take this opportunity
to explain that after the death of our dear son Alan, both my
husband and I were very ill and had spent time in hospital and
were under close observation by our family and GP. I don't believe
I have to go into details of the devastating effects Alan's death
had and still does have on both of us, other than to say we fully
understand why our solicitor Mr Turnbull felt it was in our best
interest to end our complaint against the Marie Claire
Magazine. I will fully understand if the Select Committee takes
the view that under the circumstances there is no point in raising
my concern regarding by conversation with Mr Austin of the Press
However I would be most grateful if the Select
Committee would give some consideration to the time factor regarding
my complaint against the Marie Claire Magazine. You will
note that Mr Austin states that the press complaints commission
received our complaint on the 14 September 1992, our dear son
Alan died on the 5 December 1991, a full three months had lapsed,
three months of hell for our dear son Alan and our whole family,
yet no tangible progress had been made by the Press Complaints
Commission, this is particularly hurtful given the prompt and
very personal attention the Press Complaints Commission have given
to complaints submitted by John Major and members of the Royal
Family over the years all of whom where more than capable of taking
legal action against any false or misleading statements published
about them or members of their families.
On the 28 October 1992 the Marie Claire
sent a copy of a letter they had drafted on our behalf, please
note this letter did not address the any of the false or malicious
statement published in their original article published in there
September 1992 edition. You will also note that our solicitors
letter dated the 4 December 1992, that the magazine was not prepared
to go beyond this letter, it was case of take it or leave it Our
daughter was an innocent murdered victim yet we had and still
don't have any legal right of redress against the Marie Claire
or the Glasgow Herald Newspaper. It is this lack of legal
right of redress, which caused the death of my dear son Alan.
He had to sit back and watch his murdered sister's good name being
dragged through the mud by unscrupulous journalist who were more
than aware we as Diane's family had no legal rights, as the law
in this country takes the view that the dead cannot be hurt, which
in effect means that unscrupulous journalist are free to slander
and malign an innocent murdered victim in the save and secure
knowledge that no legal action can he taken against them by the
innocent murdered victims family. That is what caused the death
of our dear son Alan, remember Alan died with McLean and Henderson's
articles in his hand.
Telephone conversation between Margaret Watson
and Tony Austin of the Press Complains Commission. November 1993.
Mr Austin-Mrs Watson this is Tony Austin at
the Press Complaints Commission. You telephoned us a little while
Mrs Watson-That's correct.
Mr Austin-We couldn't give you an answer immediately
because we just had to get the file and see what the last correspondence
Mrs Watson-Yes I can understand that.
Mr Austin-We had a letter from Turnbull McCarron
on the 22 March 1993, this year which I can send to you, but I'll
read it to you. It says, "We refer to previous correspondence
regarding the above, that's Mr and Mrs Watson, I understand our
clients have been in contact direct with the magazine and have
in fact had a meeting in London with the editor and her solicitor".
Mrs Watson-That's correct.
Mr Austin-"We believe as a result of their
meeting a further article has to be published this month in the
magazine. We do not know the exact terms of the article, but having
spoken to Mr Watson we understand that both he and his wife are
satisfied with the eventual outcome." Now from that we took
no further action after that letter because we understood that
the matter had been settled.
Mrs Watson-It had been settled through our hard
work not the solicitors. We went down because I had phoned the
magazine you see. And they still refused to accept our version
of things, so we offered to come down and show them our proof.
And that's the only reason they put that retraction in because
they had the proof in black and white. The point is that they
weren't prepared to listen to us when we originally got in touch
with them, which a was year previous.
Mr Austin-But eventually they did then publish.
Mrs Watson-that's not good enough. They caused
my son's death through their lack of knowledge and the fact that
they wouldn't listen to us.
Mr Austin-Yes I understand that. But the statement
that they published after there conversation with them. We understood
that that settled the matter.
Mrs Watson-No! of course it didn't. We made
it plain to the magazine it didn't.
Mr Austin-What did you further expect from them?
Mrs Watson-Well at the beginning we expected
them to listen too our side of the story, and we couldn't understand
why they could allow Meg Henderson to write a one sided article
without consulting us and getting Diane's point of view in all
Mr Austin-Yes I know, but after that appeared
in the magazine, I'm not sure what date it was.
Mrs Watson-It was in April exactly two years
after Diane died. (The apology was actually two years after Diane
Mr Austin-Yes that was their statement.
Mrs Watson-That's after all the heartache they
caused us and the only reason that they listened to us, they wouldn't
listen to the solicitor. It was because I phoned and said I was
Mrs Watson-And that is not good enough. We shouldn't
have to, that was our expense, we had no money, we had to borrow
money to go down and see them and pay a hotel bill to stay there
Mrs Watson-Before they would even listen to
Mr Austin-Is that what you are trying to get
now some payment for the expenses.
Mrs Watson-No!!! money is out the window, I'm
not interested in the money. Money will never bring my children
Mr Austin-Well I understand that. Yes.
Mrs Watson-What I'm looking for is, that magazine
has got the cheek to have on it's cover that they have won eight
awards, for good publicity and doing their stories properly. I
don't know who gives out these awards, but certainly that magazine
should not be honored by these awards.
Mr Austin-Well understand your view, but I'm
not sure who makes these awards, but that is really a matter for
the people who do it.
Mrs Watson-Obviously we are not in the position
to know, but you must see that they should have corrected this
the following month when we wrote to them.
Mr Austin-Yes I'm not sure what your wanting
to be done now.
Mrs Watson-I want them to he exposed for the
heartache they have caused my son and our family.
Mr Austin-Well they did that in what they published.
Mrs Watson-Yes after Alan died. And after we
had to go down with evidence.
Mrs Watson-That is not right, you can't say
that's good journalism.
Mr Austin-Well I'm not saying it's good journalism
at all. But I don't see were we can go from here.
Mrs Watson-Oh surely you must be able to do
Mr Austin-Well this was published in April.
Mr Austin-We haven't heard from you until November.
Mr Austin-Well it's November now!
Mrs Watson-Oh, I thought you meant another time,
Mr Austin-No. "Mr Austin showed great sensitivity
as he laughed uncontrollably at my misunderstanding".
Mrs Watson-Right, I'm sorry, I thought, you
thought I had phoned you before I hadn't.
Mr Austin-No, well we have no recollection or
record of it.
Mrs Watson-No, I haven't.
Mrs Watson-I left it to my MP and two MP's wrote
Mr Austin-Yes that's right we had correspondence
from them at the time.
Mrs Watson-And Michael Martin spoke in the House
of Commons about it. Mr Austin-Yes.
Mrs Watson-and the magazine, when I originally
phoned the magazine after Alan died, a few weeks after it they
said they were sticking by their story.-Because see, you can catch
them out in a lie. They told us they had the full transcript of
Glover's trial, right.
Mrs Watson-We phoned up the home office and
asked could we get a transcript of the trial. No, no one gets
a transcript of the trial. Absolutely no one.
Mrs Watson-So I phoned the magazine and asked
them were they sure they had transcript of the trial they assured
me they had. When we went down they showed us press cuttings and
everything that was circled was Glover evidence. No-one else's
just Glover herself.
Mrs Watson-The girl who had been convicted of
first degree murder. Everyone else's evidence was disregarded.
Now that is not proper, that needs to be exposed by you.
Mr Austin-Well we heard from your solicitors
that you were satisfied.
Mrs Watson-Yes, the solicitor had no right doing
Mr Austin-Well that's a matter for you and the
solicitor. If he writes to us and tells us that we have no reason
to disbelieve him.
Mrs Watson-He had no right writing on our behalf
after Alan died. He had no right whatsoever. He knew we were in
no fit state. For a start I was in hospital and my husband was
seriously ill they thought it was a heart attack he had when Alan
Mr Austin-Well if you don't believe that the
solicitor should have written to us as they did, you will need
to speak to them.
Mrs Watson-And what good is that going to do
as far as Marie Claire and Meg Henderson's concerned.
Mr Austin-Well as I say, we understood that
it was all settled.
Mrs Watson-Well believe me it's not. I am asking
you for help now to put the record straight. And to expose how
we had to get this done.
Mr Austin-Well, we are concerned with getting
something done. Not how it got done.
Mrs Watson-So it doesn't matter that it took
a year and a half to get this done and the heartache that it caused
Mr Austin-Yes well I understand that and I appreciate
that and sympathise with you, but I don't know what we can do
at this stage.
Mrs Watson-You can do plenty at this stage.
There is plenty that you can do. You are a very powerful body
and I put my trust in you.
Mr Austin-Yes well the fact remains that we
have not done anything more because we were told by...
Mrs Watson-You didn't do anything at all, if
it had been Princess Diana, the Prime Minister or someone with
money you would have done something immediately, because we were
nobody you did nothing.
Mr Austin-We were told that it was settled.
Mrs Watson-You were told that it was settled
a year and half after it had taken place.
Mr Austin-If we were told incorrectly, that
is a matter between you and the solicitor. You need to go back
Mrs Watson-No, what happened in the year and
a half in between? Why wasn't anything done?
Mr Austin-Well it was being done.
Mrs Watson-It wasn't! Are you telling me that
it takes a year and a have to put a complaint through?
Mr Austin-But there is a whole lot of correspondence
went on from the 14 of September 1992. That's the first we knew
Mrs Watson-Yes what happens when Princess Diane
makes a complaint or Fergie makes a complaint?
Mr Austin-That's nothing to do with it!!!
Mrs Watson-That is dealt with immediately, immediately
that is dealt with. I want to know why we were left out in the
Mr Austin-Well I don't agree with your statement.
Mrs Watson-What I'm asking you now is, are you
going to do anything about the Marie Claire Magazine?
Mr Austin-I don't, what are you asking us to
Mrs Watson-I'm asking for justice for Alan.
I'm asking you to expose the heartache that these people have
caused my son and our family.
Mr Austin-I don't think that there is anything
that we can do to help you, but if you would like to write to
us then we can answer it properly.
Mrs Watson-I'm not going to, we have done all
that. Don't say start writing to you after a year and a half
of writing, that is...
Mr Austin-Well you didn't write to us the solicitors
wrote to us. (I trust the Select Committee will treat Mr Austin's
remark with the contempt it deserves)
Mrs Watson-The solicitors wrote on our behalf.
Mr Austin-And you disagree with what the solicitor
Mrs Watson-Oh yes, of course he had no right.
Mr Austin-But that's. If you engage solicitors
and they don't do what you want you them to do, that's...
Mrs Watson-He thought he had done the right
thing because Alan died and he knew none of us were fit to handle
anymore, so don't try and put the blame on solicitors. He worked
hard on our behalf. The magazine ignored every letter he wrote
Mr Austin-Mrs Watson I don't think we can help
you. We were told that you were satisfied, if the solicitors were
wrong I suggest you go back to the solicitors and talk to them
Mrs Watson-And what good is that going to do.
Mr Austin-I don't know, but that's a matter
Mrs Watson-Why isn't there a press complaints
thing in Scotland where I can go to and put my case too?
Mr Austin-No, it is covered by the one in London.
Mrs Watson-And could you please tell me who
sits on these boards.
Mr Austin-No, because there is about 16. And
it would be easier to put them in the post to you.
Mrs Watson-Because I don't know if you watched
Kilroy this morning.
Mrs Watson-No, I suggest you get a copy of it,.
And it just shows exactly the power you people have got to destroy
other innocent, we are talking about innocent people here. If
you are guilty you deserve to be exposed.
Mr Austin-Hum, Hum.
Mrs Watson-I'm all for reporters, I really am,
because they do a wonderful job of exposing a lot of harm that's
going on in the world.
Mrs Watson-But two reporters in Scotland should
be struck of.
Mrs Watson-They should be struck off at this
very moment. You should be taking action against Meg Henderson
and Jack McLean, but you have done absolutely nothing.
Mr Austin-Is your address 18 Meadowpark Street
Mrs Watson-80 Meadowpark Street Dennistoun Glasgow.
Mr Austin-Right OK I will send you the information
you were asking for and write to you.
Mrs Watson-In other words you are not going
to be doing anything.
Mr Austin-There is nothing that I can see that
we can do.
Mrs Watson-This is fine because I will be taking
this further, because there is a new body getting set up. And
if you think you are going to sit down in London and ruin our
lives and get away with it. I am afraid your going to be in for
a terrible shock. Thank you for listening.
Mr Austin-Thank you Mrs Watson.
STOP CONVICTED OFFENDERS PROFITING FROM THEIR
CRIMES BY SELLING THEIR STORIES FOR PUBLICATION-10 MAY 2002
Mr James and Margaret Watson. We have been
advised to petition the Scottish Executive on convicted murderers
and members of their families selling their account of their crimes
for publication by Mrs Christine Grahame MSP and Mrs Pauline McNeill
MSP Convenor of Justice Committee 1 and 2. On the 10 April 1991
our dear daughter Diane was murdered in the grounds of Whitehill
Secondary School during morning recess by Barbara Glover. Barbara
Glover was convicted on two countsOneassaulting
Diane on the 9 April 1991: TwoFatally stabbing Diane on
the 10 April 1991. On the 26 July 1991 Barbara Glover was sentenced
to Unlimited Time and sent to Kerelaw Secure Unit. From Kerelaw
Secure Unit Barbara Glover sold her story to the Marie Claire
Magazine, published in September 1992. Barbara Glover's account
of why she murdered Diane was not based on fact (we have the transcript
of the trial, which will confirm this fact). We sought the advice
of a solicitor, who informed us that we as the parents of a murdered
victim, had no right of redress legal right of redress from the
magazine, as the dead cannot be libelled. Glenda Baillie the editor
of the magazine was more than aware of this fact and refused all
requests by our solicitor to print an apology and the true facts
of the case. Our solicitor made it very clear to the editor of
the great distress Barbara Glover's article was having on our
family on many occasions, his pleas fell on deaf ears. Our MP
Michael Martin repeatedly tried to get the editor to print an
apology, his pleas were also ignored by the editor. Acting on
the advice of our solicitor we telephoned the editor to try and
explain the untenable position she had placed us in. The editor
claimed she had a copy of the transcript of the trial, which confirmed
Barbara Glover's article was based on fact and refused to discuss
it with us. Acting on the advice of our solicitor we contacted
the Director of Strathclyde Social Work Department, Mr Fred Edwards,
who informed us he would be launching an inquiry into how such
an interview took place from Kerelaw Secure Unit. (No such inquiry
took place). Realising the terrible effect Barbara Glover's article
was having on our dear son Alan we contacted Social Services requesting
help for our dear son. This request was denied on the grounds
we as a family were not known to them and our son was not a convicted
offender. The Social Work Department explained they had a statuary
duty to convicted offenders, but not to innocent victims of crime
in Scotland. The Social Work Deputy Director Mr Jay suggested
we contact the Scottish Office if we wanted the scope of the Social
Services widened to include giving support to victims of crime
in their remit. We have done this on many occasions to no avail,
we received a letter from Mr Wallace dated the 12 January 2002,
which he states very clearly that with regards Mrs Watson's statement
that Social Services have a duty to convicted offenders and not
to their innocent victims of crime, is right, the reason given
for this clear double standards by Mr Wallace is stop convicted
offenders reoffending. Mr Wallace took no interest in the fact
that innocent murdered victims families were in need of support
if they were too have any chance of coming to somekind of terms
with their trauma. On the 5 December 1992 our dear son Alan took
his own life clutching a copy of the Glover's Marie Claire
article in his hand (this fact can be confirmed by the police),
still the editor of the magazine refused to print a retraction
of Glover's article or an apology. Sometime in February 1993,
we telephoned the editor of the Marie Claire Magazine to
inform her we had spoken to an official in the Scottish Office,
who had informed us that she did not have a copy of the transcript
of the trial, she was adamant that she had a full copy of the
transcript of the trial in her possession, we informed her we
would be coming to her office with our evidence of the true facts
of the case as presented at the trial. On meeting with the editor
and solicitor in her London office, she produced copies of newspaper
articles, circled in red ink these were as good as a trial transcript.
We pointed out to her the newspaper articles she had circled bore
no relation to the article she had printed in her magazine, she
agreed, but stated she had not written the article and had printed
it in good faith, based on Barbara Glover's interview with Meg
Henderson in Kerelaw Secure Unit. We pointed out to her that as
the editor of the Marie Claire Magazine she had a duty
to check the facts before going to print, especially in murder
cases. Her solicitor agreed with us and gave us his personal assurance
that the magazine would print an apology and set the record straight.
The magazine printed a so-called apology in the September 1993
edition, but not what we had been promised by both the editor
and her solicitor especially given the fact that it took the death
of our dear son Alan and both of us insisting on a meeting with
the editor and her solicitor is a terrible indictment on our legal
system, which we thought was there to protect innocent victims
of crime from harassment by the convicted offender. We can only
trust that the Scottish Executive Public Positions, Department
is voting to take action to prevent any other innocent murdered
victim's family being treated with such contempt in the future.
We would like to point out to the Scottish Executive that we at
no time spoke to any member of the press before, during or after
the trial, except to express that our hearts went out to Mr and
Mrs Glover, as we felt both families had lost a daughter, this
fact is matter of public record. We were forced to go public by
Glover's Marie Claire article in order to defend our dear
daughter Diane's good name and, good reputation. We have evidence
that the Prime Minster, Mr Tony Blair has ordered that Ronnie
Kray's diaries have to be locked away for 50 years as these diaries
name politicians and members of the Royal family who had associated
with them over the years.
We would be most grateful if the Scottish Executive
would give urgent consideration to the following issues with a
view to protecting innocent victims of crime in Scotland. OneNo
convicted offenders or members of their families can profit from
selling their account of their crimes for publication. TwoIf
the Scottish Executive is not prepared or willing to protect the
truly innocent murdered victims and their families form false
or misleading publications by the convicted offenders or members
of their families, legislation must be brought in which will give
innocent murdered victims families free access to the full transcript
of the trial. In other words, the same legal rights as the convicted
murderers have, if they wish to appeal. ThreeInnocent murdered
victims families must be given access to legal aid. In other words
the same legal rights as convicted murderers. FourA special
court must be set-up with the power to investigate, where the
convicted murderer or members of their family have their stories
published, which was not based on fact and is clearly meant to
tarnish the memory of the innocent murdered victim, who has no
protection in law. These courts would be non profitable. These
courts will have the power to seize all monies gained by the convicted
offenders or members of their families. This money towards helping
innocent murdered victims families to get proper family counselling
to help them come to terms with the trauma they are suffering.
The rehabilitation of innocent murdered victims families is an
issue that has not been seriously address by the Scottish Executive,
it is time to stop talking about social inclusion of innocent
victims of crime in Scotland and put their needs at the top of
the judicial systems agenda. The Scottish executive must take
this opportunity to prove they fully intend to put the innocent
victims of crime at the heart of the judicial system, if they
are to have any hope of redressing the scales, of justice.
LETTER TO THE PUBLIC PETITIONS COMMITTEE
OF THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT FROM THE HOME OFFICE
Thank you for your letter of 21 November about
offenders profiting from their crimes by publishing or selling
accounts of them.
As you are no doubt aware, following the publication
in 1998 of Cries Unheard (Gitta Sereny's book about Mary
Bell), an inter-departmental working group (on which the then
Scottish Office was represented) was, at the request of the previous
Home Secretary, set up to consider whether the law relating to
criminal memoirs should be strengthened. The recommendations of
the working group (which was primarily concerned with the law
in England and Wales) were reported to Home Office Ministers in
The working group did not recommend changing
the law relating to the publication of criminal memoirs (because
a blanket ban on publications by criminals or others about their
crimes would be an unacceptable restriction of the right to freedom
of expression guaranteed by Article 10 of the ECHR) but it did
recommend that consideration should be given to preventing criminals
profiting from them.
Regrettably, other priorities, in particular
the need for emergency legislation following the events of 11
September 2001, have prevented us from making much further progress
in this area. However, officials here have identified possible
ways of preventing such profit and, following discussion of these
with officials and legal advisers from the Lord Chancellor's Department,
will be putting forward detailed proposals for Ministers to consider
in the new year. Subject to Ministerial agreement, we envisage
that the policy proposals will be the subject of wider consultation,
including with the Scottish Executive, before any change to the
law is implemented.
There is, of course, nothing to prevent the
Scottish Executive from taking action separately in relation to
criminal memoirs but I note their view that it would make no sense
to do so as any purely Scottish law could easily be evaded by
publication in England and Wales.
9 January 2003