The 1993 report that was sent to the Scottish Government and others by the police was prepared by Ms Mandy Dickson, a Scottish Enterprise accountant, instead of by the police.
According to Scottish Enterprise their investigation was thorough and was carried out on 18 August 1993 with the report being dated 20 August 1993.
I wrote to the police on 19 August 1993 and enclosed very important evidence which was falsely stated in the Scottish Enterprise report not to exist.
On 7 September 1993 I was briefly interviewed by Detective Sergeant William Watters of Strathclyde Police Fraud Squad in a disgraceful manner.
DS Watters entered the interview room where I was sitting at a table, violently slammed his files down on the surface and said angrily ‘Have you got some kind of grudge against this company? You’re stirring up a hornets’ nest here!’
I asserted that I had been advised that this was a matter for the police. After a few more terse exchanges DS Watters grabbed the paper I was taking some notes on and said he was going to take a photocopy.
DS Watters appeared to be trying to intimidate me.
The interview ended shortly thereafter.
On 18 October 1993 when newspapers trumpeted that my allegations of fraud had been thoroughly investigated by both Scottish Enterprise and Strathclyde Police and had been found to have ‘no substance’, I telephoned DS Watters for an explanation. He chirped ‘The day they sacked you they put the money where it should be so we’re happy with that.’
I protested ‘But that’s not what it says in the newspapers’.
‘Well, you are free to raise a civil action’ he responded. ‘We are not going to do anything’.
Indeed the police did not do anything and they seem not to have done anything up to that point other than insult me during a so-called interview. There is no evidence that the police even went to Enterprise Ayrshire or Scottish Enterprise. And there is no mention anywhere of any witnesses having been interviewed by the police.
Therefore it appears that the police carried out no independent investigation but simply utilised Scottish Enterprise’s report which was wrong in several respects as detailed further on below.
The police knew that the Scottish Enterprise report that they relied upon contained no input from me and no input from the police. Material evidence was concealed.
Clearly, the police had an unreasonable reluctance to investigate this case from the beginning. Their adoption and promulgation of the Scottish Enterprise report on the investigation that had been carried out on 18 August 1993, the same day that I had been removed from the company, indicates that the police had no part in that report’s content. They would not even have received my letter and documentary evidence by 18 August 1993.
And of course any statements I made to the police on 7 September 1993 could not have been included in a report dated 20 August 1993.
Since there is no evidence of an independent police investigation having been carried out, a reasonable suspicion could arise in the circumstances that the defective Scottish Enterprise report was submitted to the Procurator Fiscal by the police.
Alternatively, no report was submitted to the Procurator Fiscal by the police.
Evidence suggests that the Procurator Fiscal only became involved in 1999 and therefore had not seen any report in 1993.
The report prepared by Ms Mandy Dickson of Scottish Enterprise was submitted to the Scottish Government with a compliments slip stating ‘With the Compliments of the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police’.
The compliments slip was signed ‘W Watters D/S Fraud Squad’.
If the government had wanted a copy of the Scottish Enterprise report they would have requested and obtained it from Scottish Enterprise, not from the police.
Therefore this also points to the Scottish Enterprise report being adopted and utilised by the police instead of the police carrying out an independent investigation and producing their own report.
Further evidence of this fact is contained in a memorandum from Ms Mariot Leslie, the Scottish Office, to Mr Stewart, Minister for Industry and Local Government, dated 14 June 1994 which included the following statements:
‘...... after Mr Cairns’ dismissal an investigating accountant from SE examined the records of EA and presented a report of the investigation to SE on 20 August. This found that the £187,069 was paid into EA’s main bank account on 25 June 1993 ........’
‘The report found however that the money had not been entered into the LEC’s July management accounts until 18 August and concluded that that they should have done so in time for the June accounts.’
‘The report and evidence were also examined by Strathclyde Police ......’
Significantly, there is no mention here of any independent investigation having been carried out by Strathclyde Police. They seem to have just accepted Scottish Enterprise’s version of events and dismissed my version despite the available evidence indicating the opposite to be correct.
Disclosures from Audit Scotland in 2009 show that Audit Scotland recognised years ago that official responses from Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Office had been ‘disingenuous’.