Ever since learning of the death of her brother Robert David ‘Roy’ Greig in a car-fire just outside Aberdeen on 17 November 1997, Anne has been deeply suspicious as to how that could possibly have happened, knowing her brother as she did and having been very close to him throughout life. Hence she does not accept the ‘official account’ or accounts of the event (there are now at least 3, depending on which sector of the public services you approach for information) nor what passes as the collective ‘official conclusion’ as to why Roy perished in the way he did, namely that he was the author of his own death and that no other party or parties were involved.
The latest from the police, in response to a FOI request in 2013 is that Roy’s death was ‘accidental’, although only in 2011, Anne learned from the fire-service report on the incident, having at last managed to obtain that, that the police were treating it as ‘suicide’.
Over the 16 years since Roy died Anne has continued to press Grampian police and fire-service as to why they so rapidly ruled out foul play and decided they did not need to investigate further? They told her “it was clear no one else was involved.” But how did they know this, without carrying out any forensics?
Collating the various reports and logs of the incident, what appears to be the ‘official story’?
The ‘official story’ is that Roy died from ‘smoke inhalation’ in his car which had been found parked and ablaze in a lay-by off the Aberdeen to Balmedie Road on the night of 17 November 1997. It was a cold, wet night of blustery wind and rain and the windows of the car, a new Nissan Micra were all sealed. A piece of plastic piping lay on the ground with taping still attached, in the area of the car’s exhaust-pipe. It was said that this had been stuffed into the exhaust, causing the catalytic converter to overheat and thus to ignite a plastic component in the engine.
When the emergency services arrived at 21.49 there were already two individuals at the scene, a man by the name of Sylvester Cadger and “an unknown nurse”. It has not been revealed whether this nurse was male or female, nor what his or her name was. Both had allegedly been passing by, had spotted the fire from the road and had immediately gone to the rescue. Cadger had pulled Roy out of the burning car and had attempted to revive him, causing the notably severe damage to his skull, ribs (6 broken) and sternum (broken). Cadger suffered burns to his hands and was taken in an ambulance to hospital but was not kept in overnight.
Sylvester Cadger was later given an award for bravery by the Royal Humane Society.
Grampian Police and Grampian Fire & Rescue Service remained at the scene for one hour allegedly to give the police light. It has never been revealed if any forensics were carried out on the car, the catalytic convertor or the piece of piping lying by the car.
Roy’s bruised and battered body was examined by pathologist Dr James Grieve, however despite being Roy’s next-of-kin Anne was not permitted to view Dr Grieve’s report, despite pressing for that many times, she only allowed to see her brother’s body in the police mortuary through a small window. Further, the funeral directors REFUSED to allow her to see the body and said it was a closed coffin. They have no lawful right to do this, the body belongs to the family. She was told by the Procurator Fiscal said they had looked into the case and “it could not determine that it was suicide.”
As Anne and everyone well knows, suicide by fire is very rare, in fact in the course of giving witness evidence at Robert Green’s trial at Stonehaven Sheriff Court in January 2012 Dr Grieve admitted as such. Besides, as Roy’s only sibling, to whom she had been very close throughout their lives Anne knew that such a violent act of self-destruction was totally out of character. Roy had been her protector and solace when the troubles she had been suffering throughout her turbulent marriage which escalated after his death. She knew that there was absolutely no reason for Roy, a cheerful and warm-hearted individual with no financial concerns and no skeletons in the cupboard to end his life. She regards implications to the contrary on certain websites and recently by the Scottish Herald newspaper as malicious lies.
Fortunately Anne is now in a position to challenge those lies. In December 2009, thanks to pressure on the authorities from both Anne and Robert Green, Anne was at last sent a copy of the autopsy report. The BBC journalist Mark Daly had already been privy to it for some 6 months, for the purposes of producing a documentary on Hollie’s story which then did not air – how come a journalist could obtain such intimate information regarding a deceased person prior to his next-of-kin obtaining it? Then in 2011, Anne managed to obtain the fire-report, a likewise very revealing document. Still not to hand however is the all-important toxicology report. It is very much in the public interest, not to mention that of the next-of-kin, to have this report. So why is it being withheld? Would the analysis of Roy Greig’s blood at the time of his death reveal too much as to how he really died?
In 2013, there has been a renewed correspondence between Anne and the Scottish Freedom of Information officer on the issue of her brother’s death. In the response that has come back from the FOI there are a number of quite startling admissions, which may be summarized as follows:
1) Back in 1997 the fire service had said “the police are treating this incident as suicide…it is clear the fatality tried to kill himself …” but in 2013 the police are now saying that Robert David Greig`s death was “accidental”;
2) Grampian Police maintain that Grampian Fire & Rescue Service hold all the information on the incident;
3) Grampian Fire & Rescue Service however say no information is being held by them;
4) The all-important toxicology report is being withheld by the pathologist, Dr Grieve;
5) The Procurator Fiscal who is responsible for prosecutions in Scotland claims no longer to be holding any documents on the case.
In short, the FOI response does little to throw any further light, rather it paints a murky picture of a group of public service departments each trying to pass the buck regarding what all probably know is a very suspicious incident. It begs a whole new set of questions – how come that all these years the Fiscal never confirmed to certain authorities that the death was accidental? Why has there been all along a presumption of suicide? Who was the mysterious ‘nurse’ at the scene who possibly assisted with the revival attempts and whose name may not be known? And why does no information appear to be held by anyone? With the exception of the pathologist who continues to sit on a report which should be released to the next-of-kin. Has Dr Grieve something to hide, something that he should have told the court under oath at Stonehaven?
It should be noted that Dr James Greive, Grampain Fire Service and Grampian Police were also involved in the Claire Webster murder case. Despite resistance, after much persuasion from the New Zealand and Strathclyde Police, Grampian police reluctantly reopened the case. It was only because of these two forces that the case was eventually reopened with a conviction being obtained against Webster who was a former nurse also a close friend of Jillian and Graeme Mackie, (brother of abusive Denis Mackie) who allegedly loaned them £10,000 for an extension.
It was reported during the Malcom Webster’s murder trial that DI Charles Henry of Strathclyde Police said
“After Webster’s bungled attempt to kill his second wife felicity in New Zealand, Grampian Police were contacted by cops in Auckland. Grampian went over the file surrounding the fires and insurance’s polices and concluded that there was no new information and the different events were coincidental.
It was absolutely scandalous. It appears they appointed a junior detective who did some sort of minor investigation, Senior officers at the time appeared to be unable or unwilling to join the dots, they should have tied the two together and come to the conclusion that the crash in 1994 was highly suspicious, that they failed to do so endangered the lives of at least two women in Oban and others whom he appeared to be grooming. He urged the force to launch a full internal inquirery into why they ignored repeated warnings about Malcolm Webster’s crimes.”
Glaring similarities between Claire Webster’s death and the same Authorities and Pathologist.
One thing is clear, there is nothing here that can possibly qualify as a ‘thorough investigation’ on the part of Grampian Police and Fire & Rescue Service and the Procurator Fiscal of this suspicious incident. So if these are this authority’s standards in relation to a violent death, we have to question whether they are likely to have been any more reliable in the matter of a certain case of serious sexual abuse which, in similar vein, they claim to have “thoroughly investigated” and discounted as being of any concern?
That car-fire could be the smoking gun of the Hollie Greig story…