As may be recalled, matters were held up on Day 3 Wednesday with ‘both sides of the Bar’ requesting an adjournment. This was to resolve the issue of the unwillingness of DC Lisa Evans of Grampian police to be cross-examined by the Defence in public.
DC Evans is a key witness in this case, with potential to be helpful to all sides, including Sheriff Bowen as adjudicator. It was a relief therefore when Evans reappeared at the stand soon after 10 am on Thursday.
Thanks to Defence Counsel’s methodical probing, the reason for Evans’ nervousness rapidly became apparent. She is the officer from Grampian force who conducted the most recent interview of Hollie, on 8th September 2009 in Shrewsbury, and she also headed up the raiding party on Robert’s home on 13th February 2010. It is certain that she was directed to obtain a particular item with the potential to cause big problems for Grampian police. This item was not among the productions placed before the court yet the policewoman knew there were bound to be questions about it from the Defence, which only she could answer.
As Evans knew from having conducted the September 2009 interview which went on for 3 ½ hours, Hollie is a formidable witness, having both an excellent memory and in common with Down’s Syndrome people an inherent truthfulness. She is unable to fabricate information of which she has no direct, first-hand experience. On that day in September 2009, the information she supplied to the officer from Grampian police in West Mercia’s interview facility, much of it extremely upsetting to have to recount, was entirely consistent with the statements she had previously made in Scotland.
The problem for Grampian police was compounded by the fact that throughout the 3 ½ hour interview Robert Green had been listening in and taking notes. This notebook was therefore a key item for which Evans had been searching on 13th February.
Defence Counsel Andy Lamb was onto this straightaway and asked Evans whether she had come across any notebooks in searching Robert’s premises? Yes, she had. And had Mr Green been present as well as Hollie and her mother? Yes he had been, but he been had asked to remain in the kitchen area. Was this separate from the interview room? It was; it was behind a wall. What kind of wall? A partition wall. Would DC Evans describe the layout of the premises? Etc.
In fact, what DC Evans tried to pass off as a wall or solid partition was only a sliding wooden door. Robert says that when the policewoman was first asked whether he was present or not while Hollie was being interviewed she had tried to get out of it altogether and said no, he was upstairs. As it happened, Anne was in the upstairs facility being interviewed by another police officer while Hollie was downstairs with Evans. Because of her speech and hearing difficulties both she and Evans were speaking at high decibels so that Robert just behind the wooden sliding door and who moreover was already very familiar with Hollie’s diction could hear everything being said.
These notes taken by Robert remain therefore a crucial piece of evidence confirming the truth of Hollie’s allegations. In fact Robert says there were 2 notebooks relating to that interview in 2009, the rough notes he took while listening in the kitchen and a “better written” version he put together immediately afterwards, in which he included more of the detail, knowing the importance this first-hand evidence from Hollie could have some at some point in the future. So far according to his Defence team only the rough, semi-legible version has been produced; the blue exercise book in which he wrote the second, fuller record has not been seen.
This interview and the transcripts of it, both Grampian’s own version and Robert’s version, when married with the other key evidence in police hands would leave a properly-working force in no doubt that an investigation was urgently needed. Grampian were also in possession of the 4 medical reports confirming Hollie’s abuse as a child, 2 by well-known doctors whose expert analysis fully supported her allegations, and the report of Dr Frances Kelly, their own medical forensics officer who carried about an internal examination on her on 20 May 2000, two days after she and Anne had first reported her father Denis Mackie and brother Greg as her abusers at Bucksburn Police Station in Aberdeen. Dr Kelly had found clear evidence that Hollie had been abused. This was later confirmed in a letter dated 24 September 2003 to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority from DI Iain Alley of Grampian’s Criminal Investigation Division.
This clear medical confirmation of Hollie’s allegations against her father and brother should in normal times have sent the Aberdeen police straight round to the Mackie home to confiscate the computers and bedding, especially as brother Greg already had already been convicted of a sexual offence! It should be remembered that this first report of the abuse Hollie had suffered in May 2000 came to light only several months before she had begun to name any of the other perpetrators. Only her father and brother were so far on the radar.
In the court at Stonehaven yesterday, much was made of Grampian Police’s Forensic Computing expertise when Ronald Findlay who had set up the unit in the late ‘90s and his colleague Gordon Simon took the stand after DC Evans. They had carried out “hundreds” of computer investigations over the years, they said, proceeding to divulge what they had found on Robert’s computer and how they had extracted that, a somewhat lengthy exegesis which sent at least one person in the public gallery literally to sleep!
So why had Mackie’s computer been left untouched? That is the question which remains as burningly relevant today as it was back in 2000. In fact, it is even more relevant in 2012 with so many people expressing grievance at having been publicly accused of horrible crimes against children by Hollie, Anne and Robert. Their innocence, if indeed they are innocent could have been established a dozen years ago! Mackie and Greg would have been locked up (meaning Portuguese as well as Scottish children would be safe from these monsters), Anne and Hollie would not have had to leave Scotland nor would Anne have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, the people of Ferry Hill and Bridge of Don areas of Aberdeen would not have needed to be told worrying information about dangerous sex-offenders in their neighbourhoods and Robert Green, bless him would doubtless be busy defending some other victim/s of injustice or official corruption. Oh, and if Grampian Police had been doing their job, Roy Greig’s murderer would be behind bars too.
After the two Forensic Computing experts had given their evidence, the actual contents of Robert’s computer were put before the court by DS (now Sergeant) Stewart Drummond, in what was clearly an exercise to prove that Robert had breached his bail conditions, rather than that he had breached the peace. It was DS Drummond who had been sent to arrest Robert on 12th February 2010. Drummond had assembled a sequence of extracts from Robert’s many public appearances on internet TV and radio and speeches given at public meetings in the period February to April 2010, the majority of which had taken place outside Scotland or in cyber-space and none at all in Aberdeen or Aberdeenshire. In two of the extracts Robert alluded to the principle underpinning the bail “to do nothing to prevent the course of justice”. “So that’s exactly what I’m doing, assisting the course of justice! ” he told his interviewer (Paul Drockton Show, 23 March, Truthjuice Llangollen 24 March).
Eyes moistened in the public gallery when Hollie herself suddenly came over loud and clear in one of the broadcasts. She was on the Manchester Online show of 7th March 2010 along with Anne and Robert. The host Tony Legend asked her what she thought should happen to her dad? Hollie was in no doubt at all. “He should go to jail”, she said. And what about the other people, should they go to jail too? “Yes, the WHOLE LOT of them!”
The two witnesses who had stayed on to keep watch over the proceedings, Sylvia Major and Win Dragon wish it to be known that they did not quit the proceedings at this point and were there till the end of day. Perhaps they just went out for a smoke.