McLeod family from Wick treated 'shamefully' says TV cop
A FORMER Scotland Yard undercover detective and TV celebrity says that the family of Kevin McLeod have been "treated shamefully" by sections of the establishment.
Peter Bleksley was a presenter on recent Channel 4 programme Hunted and devoted several pages of his recent book, To Catch a Killer, to the mystery surrounding the death of 24-year-old Kevin over two decades ago.
"I'm keeping a keen eye on all the latest developments with the Merseyside Police investigation and am in regular contact with the family of Kevin," Mr Bleksley said.
Kevin's body was found in Wick harbour on February 9, 1997, and the family have long campaigned to have the case investigated as murder because of his injuries.
At a meeting in Inverness last week, June and Hugh McLeod, Kevin's parents, together with his uncle and aunt, Allan and Yvonne McLeod, met up with officers from Merseyside who are conducting an independent review of the case.
The family keep in regular contact with Mr Bleksley who told them he was "flattered and delighted to be keep abreast of developments" and is keen to see what transpires with the new investigations.
In correspondence with Kevin's uncle Allan, Mr Bleksley said: "My thoughts remain with you and the wider family. I’m always at the end of the phone to provide a listening ear or any advice that I can.
"I sincerely hope that Merseyside Police deliver on their promises. It is the very least that Kevin and your family deserve."
Peter Bleksley was a founder member of Scotland Yard's undercover unit in the 1980s and posed as a contract killer, arms trader and international drug baron.
He went on to achieve celebrity status as an author, playwright and broadcaster dealing with topics related to true crime detection.
More recently he became known as The Chief on Channel 4 series Hunted and bowed out after managing to catch every last one of the "fugitives" on the run.
In referencing the death of Kevin McLeod, Mr Bleksley said: "There are clearly catastrophic failings in that the case wasn't dealt with as a murder and there are many inconsistencies with what people are saying.
"The injuries that Kevin suffered could not have been inflicted in the way that was put forward."
The former detective said he took issue with Northern Constabulary's conclusion at the time that the young electrician's death was the result of an accident. The family believe Kevin was murdered and that there has been a "cover-up" by the police.
Police Scotland admits that the former Northern Constabulary failed to act on an instruction from the Wick procurator fiscal to treat Kevin's death as a potential murder case. An apology has since been issued to the family.
Mr Bleksley said he may get involved in investigating the case at a deeper level, depending on the findings of the Merseyside team.
"I'm an old-school, 20th century shoe-leather detective who goes around knocking on doors and shoving leaflets through letterboxes," he said.
"I also utilise the media to get airtime and column inches to raise awareness of the case. That often yields results and gets people to come forward and speak to me.
He said that being recognised from his numerous radio and TV broadcasts means that people often feel they can trust him and are more likely to pick up the phone to give a vital piece of information.
"The McLeod family have waited long enough and have been treated shamefully by large parts of the establishment who should be hanging their heads in shame," he said. "Whatever the answers may be, the family need to know the truth."