According to Northern Constabulary, Kevin and his friend arrived at Carters Bar sometime around 10.30pm where they enjoyed a few drinks. At closing time the two friends went to the Waterfront Night Club to continue the night's enjoyment. At around 1.30am a known male struck Kevin on the face. It seems there were no further incidents within the club.
At about 2.30am Kevin and his pal left the club, joined two girls in a taxi and headed to a party. For some reason they never went into the party and headed off to an all night bakery in the area. At this point Kevin began to feel ill, clutching his stomach, crouching and vomiting. Kevin then stumbled then fell heavily but nevertheless seemed uninjured. This was witnessed by a police officer who decided it did not warrant intervention. The friends continued to Market Square where Kevin's friend spoke to a taxi driver, meantime Kevin sat on a windowsill of a local shop clearly suffering pain in his abdomen. Kevin then stumbled off toward the harbour where he was seen by two police officers on the Service Bridge they noted that Kevin was staggering. Other witnesses saw Kevin staggering and clutching his stomach. The night watchman at the harbour saw Kevin crouched down clutching his stomach on the pavement, adjacent to the harbour wall. 15 minutes later he saw Kevin still crouched down in the same position. A further witness also saw Kevin, spoke to him but got no response. One hour later the night watchman noted Kevin was gone.
When Kevin failed to return home his family reported him missing. On Sunday 9th February 1997, Kevin was found by a police diver in the waters of the harbour. Police reported to the family that Kevin had drowned.
The subsequent post mortem report revealed that Kevin had sustained what appeared to be serious and of
themselves, highly unusual abdominal injuries. The opinion that was expressed to the police in attendance
was the possibility they had been the result of an assault and almost certainly occurred prior to Kevin
having been immersed in the waters of Wick Harbour. The Procurator Fiscal (PF) at Wick was advised accordingly.
The PF then advised Northern Constabulary that this was now a potential Murder Enquiry and should be
treated as such. The phrase used was "the full works".
The "full works" as far as can be determined, notwithstanding the fact that the subject of the investigation was potentially the commission of a crime of murder, consisted of :
- A lack of involvement of senior officers
- A lack of door to door enquiries
- A lack of enquiries to locate and identify potential witnesses
Neglect? Too many people involved to be neglect.
SO WHAT HAPPENED TO KEVIN?
- Theory number one. The abdominal injuries were consistent with Kevin having collided with an ornamental bollard located at the harbour side.
- Theory number two. The assumption that Kevin had fallen to the deck of the Gunnhilda.
- Theory number three. An autopsy photograph emerges showing a diamond like pattern on Kevin's body. The opinion then formed that these marks bore a close resemblance to the net weave pattern found on lobster creels located on the deck of the Aroura, berthed next to the Gunnhilda. An accidental death.
Hold it. Hold it.
A Fatal Accident Inquiry at Wick concluded that the injuries were sustained, probably about an hour before Kevin entered the water. The severity was such that if untreated they would have proved fatal and even if prompt surgical intervention had been available, survival would have been uncertain. They were compatible with the deceased having been assaulted by a person or persons unknown with great force such as kicking or kneeing. They were also compatible with the deceased having collided accidentally but with great force against some object. It is probable that the deceased while affected by alcohol and suffering pain from his injuries experienced an urge to urinate, lost his balance and fell into the water.
Check this out.
Kevin's movements that night were compiled following the result of police enquiry. These enquiries had Kevin stumbling around, falling over, clutching his abdomen in obvious pain and distress, resting on windowsills, falling against a shop window all before he was in the harbour area. An obvious indication that he had sustained his injuries before he was near the harbour. It is worthy of note that a leading Home Office Pathologist who was shown the diamond pattern of injuries showed no hesitation in saying, " I've seen this type of pattern before. They are the same pattern shoe laces would make." So was Kevin kicked somewhere between leaving the taxi and walking to the bakery? Makes a bit more sense than falling on to creels on the deck of the Aurora particularly when the skipper insists there were no creels in use on his boat at that time.
Does not look like an accident anymore..... Does it?
UPDATE MARCH 2007:
After a long and protracted fight Kevin's family eventually made a successful appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner forcing release the (heavily edited) report by Central Scotland Police into the handling of a series of complaints against Northern Constabulary by the McLeod family
See our EDITORIAL entitled "FOLLOWING A SUCCESSFUL FREEDOM OF INFORMATION APPEAL.." on the Home page
UPDATE JUNE 2007:
Since March the fight continues as further expert opinions come to light as evidenced by a letter published in the local newspaper
from Dr Neville Jones.
The Newspaper also published the response by the McLeod family.
This story is not going away. If you have any information please contact, in complete confidence, the family solicitor at John Macaulay & Co, Solicitors, 46 London Road, Glasgow G1 5NB (telephone 0141 552 2831)