Private investigation frustrated by FoI ruling

A private investigation into the death of Kevin McLeod has been frustrated by a ruling that the movements of a prisoner while out on temporary release should remain confidential.

The decision by Scottish Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion is the latest setback in the campaign by Kevin's family to find out how he met his end in Wick over 10 years ago.

The family have been conducting their own inquiries after losing confidence in Northern Constabulary, who drew a blank with two investigations into the February 1997 tragedy. Kevin's parents, Hugh and June, and his uncle Allan McLeod are convinced the 24-year-old ended up in the harbour after being the victim of a savage beating. They are keen to establish the whereabouts at the time of one of three men they suspect to have been involved in the attack.

He appeared to have a watertight alibi of serving a two-year term at Castle Huntly Prison. But the family have been given information that on the weekend of Kevin's death the individual might have been on an authorised home visit in Wick. Their efforts to establish whether that was the case have been frustrated, firstly by the Scottish Prison Service and then by the failed recourse to the Freedom of Information Act.

The ruling by Mr Dunion concludes that prisoners are entitled to have information about day releases kept under wraps.

McLeod family's new setback (John O'Groat Journal, 9 November 2007)