Subject: Article by David Leask about Hollie Greig
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 16:29:09 +0000
I would like to express my disappointment in David Leask`s article in the Sunday Herald. I believe that the article is grossly unbalanced and in a few cases, factually inaccurate.
As far as the one of the factual errors is concerned, the article states that I “was brought in while campaigning as a candidate in the 2010 General Election, despite being effectively banned from entering Aberdeenshire”. This is nonsense. I was banned on 15th February 2010 in relation to my bail conditions following my initial arrest on 12th February, as I was about to open my campaign. No such ban existed at that time.
David Leask states that the CICA payment made to Hollie Greig was a result of one doctor saying she was having sex without anyone being named. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board do not allocate public funds to individuals on the basis of them having sex with unknown partners. This would appear initially to be journalism at its sloppiest, but it is worse that that.
David Leask has been dishonest.
He has the documents that were used to claim the award, one from Dr Jack Boyle, who clearly stated that he believed Hollie had been sexually abused. Dr Boyle also refers to one of those named by Hollie as being involved in a previous sexual offence. The other key document is that of Dr Eva Harding, who not only states unequivocally that two of those named had sexually abused Hollie, but also states that she was “probably abused by others who had access to her.” Two further individuals are named in the report among those probables that the police did not even bother to interview. David Leask knew this, yet omitted it from his article. Given the gravity of the main issue, that must constitute a deplorable lack of journalistic integrity on his part. I trust that having made you aware of this, you may come to share my opinion.
Mr Leask also implies that Anne Greig did not cooperate, giving the false impresion that she had something to hide. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I first spoke to Mr Leask on Friday afternoon, he was aware of the legal restrictions placed upon Anne, but wanted her to telephone him, with a deadline of the same night. I explained that due to the restrictions, it would be most unwise for Anne to speak to him without her receiving professional advice. In the circumstances, I suggested that he put his questions to her in writing. Mr Leask failed to cooperate with this entirely reasonable request.
As all those concerned in attempting to discredit Hollie`s claims must know, both Anne and I are currently both under strict legal constraints and I find it distasteful that after three years of this case being in the public domain, you have chosen to publish allegations at the very time you know that any of our responses must be limited.
The final part of my letter is not based on hearsay but fact and I am not about to name any of the individuals identified by Hollie.
On 8th September 2009, I was present at Shrewsbury when Hollie was formally interviewed by DC Lisa Evans of Grampian Police. During the course of the interview, which lasted three and a half hours, Hollie clearly identified a number of individuals whom she alleged had committed serious criminal acts against her, as well as describing locations. Not only were the four named in Dr Harding`s letter so accused, but two others that had direct access to children due to their professional status.
In support of the allegations that she had been the victim of such crimes were documents already known to Grampian Police from a number of expert medical and psychological
witnesses with impeccable credentials. These were Dr Paul Carter, the school medical officer, Dr Jack Boyle, Dr Eva Harding, Ruth Beckmann of the Down`s Syndrome Association and Dr Frances Kelly, the last-named being Grampian Police`s own medical forensic expert. Grampian Police`s D.I. Iain Alley had also testified to Hollie`s competence and integrity. Moreover, as mentioned previously, the state had been sufficiently convinced by the weight of evidence as to award Hollie £13,500 through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for her suffering as the result of the criminal acts committed against her.
At my trial, it was established by DC Lisa Evans on Oath that Grampian Police had not interviewed a single person so named by Hollie.
Still, current Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland has been repeating the mantra “insufficient evidence”, when facing formal questions from the Secretary of State for Scotland. Transparently, Grampian Police, by its own sworn admission, had not made the slightest attempt to investigate these grave complaints. Mr Mulholland seems to think that not interviewing a single person named in detail by an accepted truthful and competent witness, supported by copious expert witness evidence and a clear financial acceptance by the state that her allegations were likely to be true, constitutes a “thorough police investigation”.
On the basis of the facts placed before you, one might well conclude that the Lord Advocate`s remarks are not only an insult to intelligence, but a gross insult to Hollie Greig, undoubtedly a defenceless disabled victim of horrific crimes, whoever the perpetrator(s) may be.
My belief in Hollie Greig`s statements are not and have never been, based on guesswork or emotion. I believe her because all the experts who have interviewed her say she is entirely truthful, due to a large extent to the condition of Down`s Syndrome. It is thus difficult to understand the rationale or motive of anyone who chooses not to accept her statements, whether they have met her or not.
On a personal note, the interview I heard at Shrewsbury was the most harrowing of my life. To hear a young woman spending three and a half hours unaided reliving the horrific ordeals of systematic rape and worse is heartrending beyond belief. To all those reading this, if you had heard what I had heard, I doubt if any of you would find it in your heart to be cruel to this incredibly gallant young lady.
I would like you to publish the details of this letter, in a gesture of goodwill, fairness and integrity to all concerned. No one would doubt the right of anyone who believes themselves innocent to defend themselves, but if anyone feels unfairly treated, the finger should be pointed in the direction of Grampian Police. If they had carried out a proper investigation and for any reason, exonerated any of those named, it would have been both irresponsible and unfair to conduct such a campaign as we have witnessed. If Hollie is telling the truth, as the experts say she is, then logically the probability must exist that at least some of those named are likely to continue to be a danger to the most vulnerable citizens All we have asked is for the police to do their duty. They have repeatedly failed miserably to do so.
A full inquiry would clarify and satisfy everyone, I would have thought.