Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Margaret and James Watson


  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 question—see 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 Committee—and before that the National Heritage Committee—see HC 294, Session 1992-93, Volume III—these 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 1992—based 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 including pictures.

    (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 appropriate.

    (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 crime—including 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:

    17 Payment to criminals

    *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 associates—who may include family, friends and colleagues—except 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 be banned.

  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." (Ibid)

  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: 1—Statement to the Committee from Mr and Mrs Watson; 2—Letter from Ms Meg Henderson; 3—Further statement to the Committee; 4—Petition to the Scottish Parliament; 5—Letter from the Home Office.

28 May 2003

Annex 1

  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 counts—Count 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 aristocracy—You 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.


  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 it.

  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 story—I 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 that week.

  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 death.

  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)

Annex 2


  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 Would DO".

  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 Diane.

  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 with.

  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 not.

  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.


  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 Free".

  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 this.


  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 destain.

  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 in person.

Annex 3


  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 broadcast.

  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 Barbara Glover.

  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.

February 1993

Annex 4

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 profit.

  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 fact.

  I can only trust that I will be given the opportunity to give my evidence in person to Select Committee.

March 2003

  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 Complaint Commission.

  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 ago.

  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 was.

  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 this.

  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 was murdered.)

  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 coming down.

  Mr Austin-Yes.

  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 over night.

  Mr Austin-Yes.

  Mrs Watson-Before they would even listen to us.

  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 back!

  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.

  Mr Austin-Yes.

  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 something.

  Mr Austin-Well this was published in April.

  Mrs Watson-Yes.

  Mr Austin-We haven't heard from you until November.

  Mrs Watson-November!

  Mr Austin-Well it's November now!

  Mrs Watson-Oh, I thought you meant another time, I'm sorry.

  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.

  Mr Austin-No.

  Mrs Watson-I left it to my MP and two MP's wrote to you.

  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.

  Mr Austin-Ah.

  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.

  Mr Austin-Hum.

  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.

  Mr Austin-Hum.

  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 that.

  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 died.

  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 our family.

  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. Now...

  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 to them.

  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 of it.

  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 cold?

  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 do?

  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 did.

  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 to them!

  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 again.

  Mrs Watson-And what good is that going to do.

  Mr Austin-I don't know, but that's a matter for you.

  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.

  Mr Austin-No.

  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.

  Mr Austin-Hum.

  Mrs Watson-But two reporters in Scotland should be struck of.

  Mr Austin-Yes.

  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.


Annex 5


   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 counts—One—assaulting Diane on the 9 April 1991: Two—Fatally 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. One—No convicted offenders or members of their families can profit from selling their account of their crimes for publication. Two—If 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. Three—Innocent murdered victims families must be given access to legal aid. In other words the same legal rights as convicted murderers. Four—A 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.

Annex 6


  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 October 1999.

  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

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