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Merseyside Police in fresh appeal over Highlander's death 23 years ago

By Matt Leslie

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June McLeod holding a picture of her son Kevin. The family say that after 23 years they are praying for justice, accountability and closure. Picture: DGS
June McLeod holding a picture of her son Kevin. The family say that after 23 years they are praying for justice, accountability and closure. Picture: DGS

A FRESH appeal has been put out to anyone who has information on the death of Kevin McLeod which occurred 23 years ago this weekend.

Kevin's body was found in Wick harbour on February 9, 1997, but the circumstances leading up to his death remain unknown.

The investigation has been passed on to Merseyside Police who have appealed to the public to see if anyone can shed any light on what happened to Kevin.

A spokesman said yesterday: "Merseyside Police are appealing for information in relation to the death of Kevin McLeod 23 years ago.

"Merseyside Police are reviewing the investigation, on behalf of Police Scotland, and with guidance from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service [COPFS].

"Kevin had gone out with a friend for the evening in Wick on Friday, February 7, 1997, and was last seen in the early hours of Saturday, February 8. He was found deceased in Wick harbour, at 11am on Sunday, February 9, 1997.

"Kevin is described as 5ft 9in tall, athletic build with short brown hair and he was clean shaven. He was wearing a black sweatshirt with LEVI written in white across the chest, blue denim jeans and black Caterpillar boots. He wasn't wearing a coat even though it was a very windy February night.

"Anyone who has any information, that has not previously been provided that may be relevant to assist the review, is asked to contact Merseyside Police online via this link by attaching a Word document, or typing in the additional comments section, quoting reference 20000072215."

In July 2019, senior representatives of Police Scotland and COPFS met with the McLeod family and informed them that, following consultation with the Lord Advocate, Chief Constable Iain Livingstone had requested Merseyside Police carry out a detailed review of the case under the direction of the Crown.

Please help us put those responsible behind bars. In simple terms, we need to know – who killed Kevin?

Kevin's uncle, Allan McLeod, yesterday echoed Merseyside Police's fresh appeal and asked those with information to come forward so that the family can finally have "accountability and closure".

He said: "In 1997 Northern Constabulary were instructed to investigate Kevin’s death as murder. In 2017 Police Scotland finally apologised and admitted that police had indeed received but failed to act on the procurator fiscal’s murder inquiry instruction.

"This admission came after years of denials by both Northern Constabulary and Police Scotland of ever having received any such instruction.

"Someone, somewhere, knows who was responsible for Kevin’s death and the family would urge them to please come forward.

"In the years since Kevin’s death people's circumstances, allegiances and lifestyles may have changed, and our appeal today is for those people who know anything, saw anything, or heard anything at the time to please search your conscience and call or write to Merseyside Police even if you had contacted the local police previously.

"Due to the failures of the authorities in Scotland, those responsible for this hideous crime still walk our streets.

"Please help the family and Merseyside Police put those responsible for Kevin’s death behind bars, so that the family can finally get justice, and that Kevin can finally rest in peace. In simple terms, we need to know – who killed Kevin?

"Merseyside Police have, on the behest of Police Scotland, been conducting a comprehensive review of all known information including an attempt to establish why a murder inquiry was never undertaken.

"We hope that with the help of the local community, by providing information to Merseyside Police, we will ensure that those responsible are finally arrested and charged with Kevin’s death. After 23 years all we pray for now is justice, accountability and closure."

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