Independent review ordered into police probe of man’s death in 1997

An independent investigation is to be launched into police handling of a death in the Highlands more than 20 years ago.

Merseyside Police has been asked to carry out a detailed review into initial inquiries surrounding Kevin Mcleod’s death.

The electrician, 24, was last seen in the early hours of February 8, 1997 on a night out with friends in Wick.

His body was recovered from the sea in the town’s harbour the following day.

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The procurator fiscal at the time told officers to treat Mr Mcleod’s death as a murder and investigate it accordingly, but that did not happen.

Police Scotland has now asked the Merseyside force to review the investigation by Northern Constabulary, along with all further inquiries carried out by Police Scotland since its formation in 2013.

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald said: “Kevin’s parents, Hugh and June Mcleod, have suffered unimaginable pain and trauma for more than 20 years as they search for answers regarding his death.

“It is only right that Police Scotland does everything it possibly can to address these unanswered questions.

“That is why the chief constable has asked Merseyside Police to assess all the circumstances surrounding Kevin’s death to assist Police Scotland detectives with their review of the case.”

He added that initial inquiries by Northern Constabulary “fell short of the required standard” and opportunities to gather vital evidence were missed.

Mr Mcleod’s family have been informed of the move.