Sunday, 29 January 2017

Brief update on the Docherty family

[Towards the end of the programme]

"This has been an extremely difficult case, because not only has it been so significant and so harrowing but because we found it remarkably difficult to stay in contact with Brian and Janice themselves. and we`ve had a lot of people pushing for an update."

"So David, can you give us - with an eye on the clock - can you give us a little bit of an update about where you think we are."

"Well Brian and Janice are still in Ireland and we`ve only heard from them once this month, just after the New Year. We sent them some funds across that had been donated by UK Column listeners and viewers and we got an acknowledgement and thank you for that on the 5th of January and we`ve not heard from them since."

"So they`re still in Ireland and still it would seem very much alone and the situation with the children is there has been a care order we understand, granted by the High Court in Dublin, and the children are now formally in the care of the Irish state."

"Now in terms of the investigation it has been very difficult because of the lack of communication. We have made several areas of progress notwithstanding that. Firstly, the key person in this - or early part of the story - was a Mr Alan Low who was a neighbour of the Dochertys and we very early found out there was an Alan Low who was a police officer, DC Alan Low, in that vicinity, in fact, in various police stations where the Dochertys had been interviewed and where the Viscount had been interviewed. These are the police stations in which Alan Low served. So we thought this was extremely suspicious..."

"We then got a visual identification from the Dochertys that it was the same man but we also got a complete and categorical denial of this from Police Scotland. They said that the man who had been reported was not the police officer. He had never been a police officer and was most certainly not Alan Low. So that caused us some concern whether we had the right man. But there was a key identifying feature that the Dochertys had stated, and that was the Alan Low who was their neighbour was missing several fingers from his one hand and very obvious and unique deformities."

"So we set out trying to find out whether DC Alan Low did indeed have fingers missing from one hand, and a few weeks before Christmas, we found out from two sources that this was in fact the case. So there was no doubt at all that the Alan Low who was their neighbour and who approached them and offered them £20,000, saying `I want access to your boy`, was in fact a serving police officer, DC Alan Low. And what he was doing, we don`t know; why he was living as a builder or a gardener or something and not revealing his true identity, we don`t know. We can`t even find out if it was some sort of police operation or undercover operation because Police Scotland are not talking to us and indeed are denying that it is the same man. But it seems clearly it was. So that`s one area of significant progress."

"That of course is really significant," says Brian Gerrish. "And I know that there`s more work that`s actually been done around the case but we can`t move forward on that without some input by Brian and Janice themselves... At the moment we`re holding money that`s been donated. As David said ... they`ve already had some. But the key issue is that we have to be certain that money that`s moved to them actually reaches them on the ground. So it`s been quite a complicated situation. But we`re going to hold those donations. Once we`re back in good communication with Brian and Janice, we`ll be able to move those funds on and also give you a further update. But what we deduce from what has happened is that the fear factor has been very very powerful. The state has gone flat out to terrify this couple after taking their children and of course we know from other families that when children are taken it`s so easy for social services or the police or the state to be saying: `If you don`t keep quiet you will never see those children again`. So if you can imagine the sheer psychological pressure that these two have been under. In saying we have found it difficult to be in communication, it is in no way a criticism. This is part of the harsh reality of these sorts of cases."

"So the undertone is of course that... Police Scotland, far from doing their job with Brian and Janice Docherty, it`s been Police Scotland themselves that have been part of the close down of the case and the harassment and the brutalisation of these two."


Background to Docherty case:

1 comment: