This is a STATEMENT sent to me by Robert a couple of days ago.
As many of you may be aware, I am due to be released from prison on Thursday 17th May.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of you who have been so kind as to write to me whilst in prison and for the gifts and generosity.* It is wonderful to be aware of just how many good, humane people there are around the world who have expressed their support, which has been a great comfort, both to me and my loved ones.
It is not possible for me to find the appropriate words of gratitude to you, but I shall never forget.
Most importantly of all, you have expressed how much you care about Hollie and the plight of other defenceless children and the disabled, whatever they may be. So many of you have written to your MPs and other influential figures to voice your concerns.
I should also like to thank those of you who have joined demonstrations here in Aberdeen and around Britain. I know that many have travelled great distances at their own time and expense. It is surely time the authorities listened -and acted!
As to the question as to how I have been treated here, I must say that the officers, governors and my fellow-prisoners have unfailingly shown the utmost consideration and courtesy towards me. In fact, I have come to hold the prison officers here in HMP Aberdeen in high regard for their professionalism and humanity in undertaking their duties, in what is a difficult and sometimes dangerous occupation.
The remarkable Hollie Greig case is now firmly within the public domain and I trust that you will appreciate that I feel a great responsiblity to my loved ones, so that I shall act now in accordance with professional legal advice, both north and south of the border. I would also ask for some time following my release to be allowed to devote to personsal affairs, which I shall need to attend to following the three months of my incarceration. Of course, I intend to pursue every avenue in order to have my conviction quashed, as I believe that I have been dealt with in a most unfair manner throughout by the Scottish justice system, beginning with my original arrest on 12 February 2010.
On that day, I was denied my legal right to have access to legal representation, in contravention of Scotland's own solemn commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Scottish justice system was severely admonished by the Supreme Court for its systematic failures on this fundamental issue (see the Cadder case).
Finally, since Hollie's case became public, a wide variety of views have been aired and everyone has as much right to express his or her opinion as I have. Whilst the wider case and those related to it involve many complexities, may I leave you with just one simple statement based on fact.
On 8th September 2009, Hollie Greig was formally interviewed, in my presence, by DC Lisa Evans of Grampian Police. During the interview Hollie described in detail a number of criminal acts perpetrated against her by a number of named individuals. Grampian Police knew that Hollie's allegations were supported by documents from a number of expert medical and psychological witnesses, prepared independently of each other, sometimes many years apart. In fact, the State regarded the weight of evidence to be sufficiently convincing as to award Hollie £13,500 of public funds, administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in compensation for her suffering as a result of these crimes.
During my trial, officiated by Sheriff Principal Edward Bowen, it was established that the Grampian Police had not even questioned a single individual named in Hollie's interview. By contrast, when I made a statement a few months later within which I emphasised Grampian Police's failure, complaints were made against me. The police sprung immediately into action and within six weeks from the beginning of January 2010 had interviewed no less than sixty one witnesses to testify against me.
It is surely not just me who wonders at this wide divergence of attitude by Grampian Police in the pursuit of handling criminal complaints. I believe it would make anybody wonder.
* Regarding the gifts, in a separate note sent the day following the above letter, Robert writes:
A large number of gifts of all kinds have arrived at the prison during my stay and are dealt with by a different office to the one that handles my non-packaged mail. Occasionally, the parcels become detached from the details of the sender so if I have not acknowledged anyone for their tremendous kindness and generosity it is entirely due to these circumstances. Therefore, may I say now a very sincere "thank you" to anyone to whom I have not responded.