no embargo - 16 October 2007( Back to news releases)
"Today marks the start of the longest journey
Our lives have been on hold for more than 3 years now while we waited to find out why Michael died, and we want to take this opportunity to say a few words to a number of people:
To the Lord Advocate and Solicitor General – we wrote to you in January to tell you that our faith in the ability of the Fiscals’ Service to deliver justice had hit an all-time low. We were told we had been failed, but were given an assurance that we would not be failed again. In our opinion, last week three individuals escaped justice. As we understand it, insufficient evidence was led in respect of two and the wrong charges were laid against another. For the case against Messrs Mitchell, Wallace and Storrar to not even reach the jury means we have been failed in the worst way possible by the prosecution service. On their release, the advocate representing the company referred to his client as an “invisible man” now sitting in the dock – prosecution of the invisible man does not and will never provide justice for the family left behind, nor will it act as a deterrent to others who may choose to play fast and loose with the health and safety of their employees.
To the three men released from the dock last week – each of you will live with your own conscience every day, just as we live with our grief and our memories. We hope your first thought every morning is for the safety of those working for you. Know that every time we see a Mitie Engineering silver-grey van, we think of the Private Ambulance of the same colour which brought the body of a loving son, brother and fiancée from a Dundee mortuary to an Edinburgh funeral director’s. And we hope for the sake of all families like ours that never again will one of your employees leave home in a works’ van and return in one belonging to an undertaker.
This was a whole industry with safety standards which had become rotten to the core. We heard during the trial that over a three year period, seven electricians died because of failure to implement safe isolation procedures. A wise soul once said: "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." So, to all who can make a difference to health and safety standards - be you a director, manager, supervisor or fellow employee and in whatever industry you operate - we urge you to take action before it’s too late.
Because, no court case or penalty imposed by the courts will bring
Michael back from his final journey to a far too early grave. And, be
in no doubt that today marks the start of the longest journey for us
- the rest of our lives without the loved one who should have outlived