Today I am making a formal submission to the Child Abuse Inquiry regarding the conduct of Lord Dervaird and related matters.
As outlined in the submission to the Inquiry, the conduct of Lord Dervaird may or may not fall within the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry.
The text of the submission to the Child Abuse Inquiry follows:
10th June 2015Child Abuse Inquiry[By email]
Dear Sir/Madam,Conduct of Lord Dervaird and related matters
This letter is a formal submission to the Child Abuse Inquiry.
Given that some of the relevant facts have been concealed from public knowledge I can only state that the subject matter of this letter may be of interest to the Child Abuse Inquiry. The possibility exists that the matters at hand lie outside the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry.
The wider issues are summarised in the enclosed letter to Sir Stephen House, Chief Constable of Police Scotland.
This letter should be read together with my letter to the Chief Constable.
Everything I state in this letter is sourced in media and other reports. Varying degrees of uncertainty apply to points of detail.
Skeleton facts re Lord Dervaird
On or around 22nd December 1989 Lord Dervaird abruptly resigned as a Court of Session judge with effect from 1st January 1990.
The process of considering Lord Dervaird’s resignation appears to have included a meeting between Malcolm Rifkind, then Secretary of State for Scotland, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie (then Lord Advocate) and Lord Hope (then Lord President, the most senior judge in Scotland).
The concerns regarding Lord Dervaird were so serious as to require his resignation from the Bench.
The possibility exists that the misconduct by Lord Dervaird was of a criminal nature.
Media reports suggest that Lord Dervaird resigned due to a homosexual relationship. The extant reports suggest that the relationship may have been with a “rent boy”.
The nature of Lord Dervaird’s “indiscretion”
The natue of Lord Dervaird’s “indiscretion” has never, so far as I can establish, been publicly disclosed.
Nor, so far as I’m aware, has the matter been investigated by the Police. However, it is possible that the Orr Report considered the matter. Given the latter has never been published I cannot be certain about the issue.
It seems to me that there are several possibilities for Lord Dervaird’s misconduct:
- A homosexual relationship between Lord Dervaird and a man aged 21 or over. In 1989 this would, so far as I can establish, have been lawful.
- A homosexual relationship between Lord Dervaird and a male prostitute aged 21 or over. In 1989, this would, so far as I can establish, have been lawful but may have been viewed as particularly embarrassing.
- A homosexual relationship between Lord Dervaird and a “rent boy” aged between 18 and 20. In 1989, so I understand, such a relationship would have been a criminal offence but may not fall within the Terms of Reference of the Child Abuse Inquiry.
- A homosexual relationship between Lord Dervaird and a “rent boy” aged 16 or 17. In 1989 that would have been a crime but would, so I understand, no longer be a crime. Such a person would, I think, legally be a “child” and so Lord Dervaird’s conduct may fall within the scope of the Terms of Reference of the Child Abuse Inquiry.
- A homosexual relationship with a “rent boy” aged under 16. In 1989 that would have been a crime and would continue to be so, so far as I understand. In that case the matter would, I believe, properly fall within the Terms of Reference of the Child Abuse Inquiry.
The above assumes a single homosexual relationship by Lord Dervaird.
The possibility exists that there were multiple relationships which may encompass more than one of the listed categories.
In Paragraph 5.2 of the Nimmo-Smith/Friel Report it appears that Lord Dervaird admitted to “homosexual relations” but it is unclear if those “homosexual relations” were in the context of a single relationship or multiple relationships.
Lord Dervaird’s London connection
To the best of my knowledge the London connection in Lord Dervaird’s “indiscretion(s)” has never been properly investigated.
Indeed mention of the London connection appears only once in the public domain, so far as I’m aware. It is to be found in Paragraph 5.2 of the Nimmo-Smith/Friel Report:
“He [Lord Dervaird] has told us that in particular he informed the Lord President that he had been indiscreet in that he had, in the period since his elevation to the Bench, carried on a homosexual relationship with a certain person, secretly but in such a way that they had been seen together in certain places in London.”
The age of the person with whom Lord Dervaird admitted to having a relationship In the above context is, so far as I observe, concealed by the Nimmo-Smith/Friel Report.
Report to Police Scotland.
I enclose a copy of a letter being sent today to Sir Stephen House, Chief Constable of Police Scotland.
As you will see it covers issues significantly wider than those within the current Terms of Reference of the Child Abuse Inquiry.
I would imagine that Sir Stephen would ensure that the results of his inquiries are made available to the Child Abuse Inquiry.
Investigation by the Inquiry’s Police team
I am happy to give a Statement to the Police team appointed by the National Police Chiefs Council to assist the Child Abuse Inquiry, should the Inquiry consider that to be appropriate.
Alternatively, assuming that Police Scotland wish to take a Statement from me on the matters described in my letter to the Chief Constable, the Child Abuse Inquiry may be satisfied with a copy of any Statement made to Police Scotland.
This letter is a public document since I believe that “total transparency” is the correct approach to the matters at hand.
I will place a copy of it on my UK Child Abuse Inquiry blog:
Actions requested of the Inquiry
I ask for a formal acknowledgement of this submission.
The matters relating to Lord Dervaird may, on full investigation, prove to be banal or immensely serious.
Similarly, on investigation, the concerns relating to Lord Dervaird may fall within the Terms of Reference of the Child Abuse Inquiry or outside those Terms of Reference.
I ask that the Child Abuse Inquiry takes all relevant steps with respect to the two foregoing paragraphs to establish which of the stated possibilities is the true one.
Yours sincerely(Dr) Andrew Watt
Enc. Letter of 10th June 2015 to Sir Stephen house, Chief Constable, Police Scotland