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Stefan Sutherland case needs police failures probe

Police investigations poor

Many Highlanders are anxious by the inability of police officers in the north of Scotland to investigate serious crime. There is a clear pattern of either incompetence or laziness which suggests a badly broken chain of command in the north. Former police officers talk fondly of the old days but then add that the foul-ups last 25 or so years have not been good. It wasn’t then and it isn’t now.

police
Kevin McLeod of Wick. Police apologised for failing to investigate for criminality.

It was in 1997 that Kevin McLeod, a 24-year-old electrician met his untimely end when he was found drowned in Wick Harbour. The body had suspicious injuries. A series of silly cock-ups by officers who should have known better meant that probe went nowhere. Northern Consabulary was instructed by the Crown Office to treat it as a murder. They never got round to doing that. Appalling.

As Kevin’s father Hugh said a few years ago: “The police say they found no criminality. But they missed the golden hours and they didn’t look for criminality. They weren’t going to find it if they didn’t look. Kevin’s clothes were in the sergeant’s office for three days and then disappeared. In a murder inquiry, they should have been bagged, tagged and kept.”

No one was disciplined at Wick police because hopeless senior cops had not given them instructions. These responsible cops for these appalling failures are now retired and sitting at home on fat pensions while Kevin’s family still mourn and still have to campaign for justice.

police
Unsolved – Stefan Sutherland. Police claim to have investigated for criminality but questions remain.

And now Stefan Sutherland’s case

And in the last few years, we had the case of Stefan Sutherland, 25, of Lybster, also in Caithness. It is clear there has been some mysterious constabulary foot-dragging in that tragedy too. How Police Scotland, new name but the same couldn’t-care-less attitude, can say they could find no criminality is unconsionable. There has been a review – by Police Scotland, of course, marking their own homework – in which they decided there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

There was a prime suspect – a man with a very dodgy record. The last time Stefan was seen was going into his house. It has emerged Stefan’s DNA was later found in the suspect’s property. After a major review, police failed to interview the suspect because, said Police Scotland, there was insufficient evidence. His family say the findings show these blnkered cops were only interested in Stefan’s Facebook pages. There is a place for digital investigations but this was one where they should have got off their bottoms and followed the material leads.

Will anything ever happen?

Now that the prime suspect has died, the family of Stefan fear the chiefs of Police Scotland will continue doing nothing and leave them forever wondering what happened.

One Scottish newspaper has thankfully helped his family keep up awareness of Stefan’s case and thereby the sheer cack-handedness of police in the north. The coverage of his case by the Daily Record is a wonderful example of campaigning journalism. Insiders says Police Scotland bosses don’t agree. Good.

One serious question remains. Why are there no decent Scottish politicians campaigning for an independent investigation? There are other suspected cases but these two in the north are two of the worst cases of the force’s ineptitude. Is every politician in Holyrood and Westminster too scared to speak out? Why is that?

Honest ex-cops tell us there are always some bad apples in uniform. In other parts of the country, quite a number have been jailed recently. In many ways, the consequences of just failing to do their job right is just as serious for victims and their families.

Can you help the police?

If you have any relevant information on either of these two cases, you should contact Police Scotland on 101. You may also call anonymously to Crimestoppers UK on 0800 555111.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to speak to a person, you could call the 24-hour Impartial Investigations hotline on 0800 887 0111. It is voicemail only. No human will answer and you can speak for up to 10 minutes. We will pass on any information received to the family concerned.

Or call us for a chat. Just go to the Contact Us page.

Impartial Investigations
23 January 2022

Wanted – Warren Day in the Western Isles?

Wanted – Warren Day – in the Western Isles?

Wanted - Warren Day
Wanted – Warren Day. He may have changed his name now.

Have you seen this man, possibly in the Western Isles of Scotland? He is Warren Day who is wanted for serious assault on a female partner. He speaks with a Liverpool accent but he may not be using that name now.

On the 20th April 2020 in north Wales, Warren Day viciously assaulted his vulnerable partner causing serious head injuries including loss of several teeth and damage to mouth, jaw and nose.

Subsequently, Day fled the Wales area and is still actively avoiding apprehension. He has links to criminality throughout Scotland and the north west of England and has a long history of violent and drug offences. Now, police have reason to believe he is living on a Scottish island.

In the past, for example, he has used the names Jonny, Jay, and Jason White.

Tattooed on his wrist is the name Jodie

Warren Day, who is 30 to 35 years old, has tried to change his appearance since he has been on the run. For instance, he has a tattoo of “JODIE” on his left wrist [approx 30mm in size]. He speaks with a Liverpool accent.

More details about the wanted man are on the Crimestoppers website.

Meanwhile, police inquiries have suggested he is currently in the Hebrides, which are also known as the Western Isles of Scotland.

Most importantly, if you do spot someone you think is Warren Day, do not approach him. Dial 101 or contact Police Scotland here. Alternatively, you can contact us here or to 0800 887 0111 (our 24-hour voicemail at Impartial Investigations) and we will relay your messsage to police.

Refund Rescue will now handle your complaints

Refund RescueRefund Rescue

Refunds you are due from sellers – whether they are companies, partnerships, or individual sole traders – are always worth fighting for. You now have Refund Rescue on your side.

Having successfully helped various clients get the refunds they deserve, – by going to court, when necessary – our Small Claims Court-based service The Complaint Handlers (TCH)  has changed its name.

Our sister service will handle incoming commplaints

The Complaint Handlers (TCH) will continue but only as a service for organisations and individuals who are being claimed against. If TCH decides you have a good case, we will continue to help negotiate resolutions which are acceptable to all sides under the law – or prepare a robust defence for court – if necessary.

We are based in Scotland and we welcome clients from throughout the UK

Contact Refund Rescue at info@refundrescue.co.uk or leave a message on 01463 600151. Or go to our Contact Us page and we will pass on your message.

We reunite Scots brothers after 52 years

Impartial Investigations 

Scots reunited after 52 years

Davina and Nicky, eat your heart out
16 March 2021

Reunite brothers who have not seen each other in half a century? Is that even possible? Darned right it is and we did it. We are still absolutely delirious here because we recently found a Scottish man in London whose brother, who was on the other side of the world, had not seen him for 52 years. That’s a long time.

To get back into serious tracing of missing family members with the excellent databases that are now available to investigators who can prove they are not dodgy, we had a free offer to new clients. Until the end of January 2021, my business partner David and I would work on missing people cases for 13 weeks for free – absolutely no charge.

reunite
We will sometimes do searches for no fee. Ask us. Tell us why you need help.

People found it hard to believe. They thought it was a scam. Because we weren’t taking money, we offered our services to relatives looking to reunite with people on social media. We asked a Scottish man in Australia looking for his long-lost brother if we could help. He said: “Yes please,” and signed up.

After David and I got our instructions and Authority To Investigate in December 2020, we were upbeat. We told the searching brother, who lives in Western Australia, in an online chat to leave it all to us. We would reunite them. Then … the reality. We had a subject who had a fairly common first name and surname so it was not easy. At that early stage, after searching the databases we subscribe to, we had 121 possibles. That was going to be impossibly-expensive and time-consuming. We were banging our heads.

So we started searching for phone numbers for the names and addresses but each one in turn came up negative. There was no certainty of success even if we found all the phone numbers for the 121 – and, of course, we didn’t. We got downhearted and gave up after calling about 20.

Focusing on Scotland, we spoke to various men with that name in Paisley, Dundee and the Borders particularly. We didn’t have their birth dates before we called so we weren’t sure if they were a fit or not. They wanted to help reunite them when they heard the story, but they couldn’t.

We were absolutely sure we found him at a Lancashire address. There was a digit wrong in the birth date but mistakes do creep in. It wasn’t him.

At that point, we happened to subscribe to a new more-powerful database. Our membership of the Association of British Investigators brought that about. That system helped us get the possibles down to six and one who had no activity through credit transactions or changes of address for many years.

No phone number. It’s too long a shot.

We tried the search on our trusty old database – just in case. It pinged a consumer transaction event from a couple of months before. The birth date seemed correct, he was not shown as deceased, he was credit checked when he bought something recently – so he is still there. What are we waiting for?

We sent a Signed For letter asking him to call our 0800 number. No response. Then we found out that Covid, and the inability of Royal Mail to redirect resources, had crippled the sorting offices in various areas including his local area in London. After three weeks, our letter had still not been delivered. That’s a scandal that is not being reported properly, for some reason.

We ended up emailing the letter to a brilliant courier company in south London, who printed out our letter, put it in an envelope and sent a biker round with it. Then … no response.

A few days later, the phone rang and I heard a man say: “I think you may be looking for me?” It was him. By jove, it was this very polite man whose brother has been looking for him since he didn’t return from university 52 years ago.

“I was trying to look for him and I had no idea he had gone back to Australia. Well, well, well.”

I then asked if I could share the recording of the call with his brother in Australia. “Aye, you may,” he said softly. I admit it, at that point I had tears in my eyes.

When I messaged the Australian brother, I attached the recording of his sibling. That was in was the middle of the night over there so after a few hours, I messaged him again for a bit of reaction. He was too emotional to see the keyboard.

It’s OK. I will wait, I said, reaching for another Kleenex.

He has since told us that, although they are both sensible and taking things slowly, the brothers are now in touch and making plans. That is fantastic.

After Covid, who knows what could happen? We may even get the brothers to do an interview about their new lives with each other again.

Reunite them we did, and reuniting people who have been separated by life events, youthful enthusiasms, mistakes and misunderstandings is absolutely great. It’s the best job in the world.

John Maciver
Partner
Impartial Investigations

Get in touch.

Impartial is a member of the Association of British Investigators

ABIABI is our badge of trust

UPDATE – John has since been certified as a Full Member of the ABI.

Impartial Investigations is a member of the Association of British Investigators (the ABI).  One of our partners, David, is a Full Member. The other, John, is a Provisional Member who is working towards Full Membership.

Aren’t all private investigators licenced in the UK?

No. There is no licencing system in the UK. That is why the industry is full of absolute rogues. That’s the truth. Many so-called “private investigators” have criminal records. Anyone can call themselves a PI and make money from gullible clients who lose money because they don’t bother to check their credentials.

Never hire a PI without checking they are part of a reputable industry association which checks their criminal record – like the Association of British Investigators (the ABI). The ABI is also pressing for government licencing to weed out the incompetents and the crooks. That’s to get rid of the many dodgy operators who see themselves as a latter-day Sherlock Holmes but who have no clue how they will ensure data and client protection.

What does ABI membership mean?

It means that the ABI has checked our personal references and credit worthiness at Impartial Investigations. It has also checked that we don’t have criminal records. Our public liability insurance has been checked by the ABI to protect our clients in case a mistake or an accident happens. It also means that we know about data protection and, specifically, the rules over GDPR. That is important as dealing with data is actually what private investigation is all about.

ABI membership also means that we must follow the ABI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Standards. The Law Society of Scotland has the ABI as an approved supplier and it is also endorsed by the Law Society of England and Wales. No other body in this industry has that level of trust.

Are all private investigators members of the ABI or some such body?

Sadly, no. There are other associations for private investigators. Some, however, are better than others at checking their members actually know what they are doing and keep within the law. To some of us, some associations appear not to do enough – or care enough – to ensure protections for their members’ clients are in place.

I need an investigator but I don’t know who to choose.

If you choose a rogue investigator who pretends to know what they are doing – or who is a convicted criminal fraudster, it could cost you dearly. There are literally hundreds of them scattered around the UK. By all means call Impartial Investigations and we will answer your questions to see if we fit your requirements.

Or call the ABI on 020 8191 7500 or email them at  Secretariat@theABI.org.uk and they will keep you right with the best advice.

 

 

                                 

What happened to Johnny Connelly at Speir’s Wharf, Glasgow?

Johnny Connelly at Speir’s Wharf

John Connelly, 28, also known as Johnny, was discovered in the water at Speirs Wharf in Port Dundas, Glasgow, on Monday, July 22, 2019. That was a week after he was reported missing.

He had failed to return home after spending a day out with his pal in the city centre on Monday, July 15.

John Connolly
Johnny’s family need to know the truth

Police who have been investigating what happened that evening think he was involved an altercation at the Garscube Road underpass in Cowcaddens around 10.20pm. He had multiple injuries to his head and body.

John, from Cathay Street in Milton and who was known to many as Johnny, was last seen wearing a black Adidas hooded top, with white stripes down the sleeves. He also had on black jogging trousers and royal blue coloured Nike trainers.

Johnny Connelly’s family are devastated

“John’s family are still understandably devastated by his death,” said Detective Inspector John Morrison of Maryhill CID. “It is made all the harder by not knowing what happened to him. We know he was in the city with his pal. But they had separated when heading home for the night.
“Around 10 pm John is seen walking alone in Buchanan Street past Buchanan Galleries. He then went past the bus station and on to Dundasvale Court. Then he went into the underpass at Garscube Road leading to Speirs Wharf in the Cowcaddens area around 10.20.”

Garscube Road at Speirs Wharf is a popular route. It is used by runners, dog walkers and skateboarders.

Anyone with information is asked to call CID officers at Maryhill Police Station via 101. Please quote incident number 3452 of 22 July 2019.

NOTE:   If you have information but would rather stay anonymous and not speak to a human, call Impartial Investigations voicemail on 0800 887 0111 day or night.

Missing Persons

Impartial Investigations  Missing Persons in Scotland will feature here regularly

Missing persons are a part of life in Scotland, sadly. Impartial Investigations is dedicated to doing what it can to help Scottish families suffering the trauma of having a missing person in suspicious or even unexplained circumstances. We will investigate, where necessary, and we will make public appeals for help.

If you know what happened to a missing person, we would like to hear from you. Their families need to know what happened to their loved ones. Whether you were involved in the person’s disappearance or not, there comes a time when you realise that pretending there is nothing you can do is just not good enough. You need to be able to sleep at night too.

Why should you call us? Impartial just wants the information. Remember, we are not the police. We do not want to detain anyone and take them in for questioning. You may call us day or night and we will not ask you questions.

You have information about a Scottish missing person? Please call now:

Freephone:  0800 832 1678

24-hour voicemail only. No human answer.

No one will ever answer. It’s voicemail only. You may leave your contact details or you may give us the information anonymously. It’s your choice. But please, do it … 

Or email:  tipoff@mm.st

You should also call CrimeStoppers UK anonymously if crime is involved.

If you are a missing person, you should ring either the police on 101, or 999 if it is an emergency. Otherwise, call the charity Missing People on 116 000 for the best advice.

Prefer to discuss the matter with one of our investigators? See here.

Last updated: 3 September 2020

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