Dean Geary death: New probe into roadside fatality

A FRESH investigation has been launched into the death of a teenager whose body was discovered at the side of a road more than three years ago.
Dean Geary was found dead on the A811 in February 2010. A new investigation is underway. Picture: PADean Geary was found dead on the A811 in February 2010. A new investigation is underway. Picture: PA
Dean Geary was found dead on the A811 in February 2010. A new investigation is underway. Picture: PA

Dean Geary, 19, was found by a passer-by on the A811 near Gartocharn, West Dunbartonshire, in the early hours of Sunday, 7 February, 2010.

The original investigation concluded that his death was not suspicious and that he died of severe head injuries after being hit accidentally by a vehicle.

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But detectives from Police Scotland’s major investigation team west say there are unanswered questions surrounding the case.

The new investigation, launched in consultation with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, will re-examine how the teenager came to be fatally injured.

Police also want to clarify how Mr Geary travelled from Glasgow city centre, where he was on a night-out with friends, to the Gartocharn area.

The fate of his wallet and Sony Ericsson mobile phone, which have never been found, will also play a key role in the probe.

Detective Chief Inspector Kenny Graham, who is leading the investigation, said: “Over three years have passed since Dean’s death but I still believe there are opportunities to find out exactly what happened to him.

“Dean’s body was found around seven miles from his home and it has never been established why he was in the Gartocharn area or how he got there.

“I believe there are still people who have information about Dean who have not yet come forward.”

Mr Geary, from Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, is known to have left the Tattoo nightclub in Glasgow’s Queen Street alone at about 2am.

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He was captured on CCTV in George Square at around 2:40am and other sightings put him near a taxi rank on the corner of Renfield Street and Sauchiehall Street at around 3:20am.

At 3:30am the teenager told a friend he was in a taxi and at about 5am three motorists spotted him walking on the A811 near Gartocharn towards Drymen.

Mr Graham said: “As part of this re-investigation I am particularly keen to focus on and answer three questions. How did Dean travel from Glasgow city centre to the Gartocharn area? What happened to Dean’s Sony Ericsson mobile phone and his wallet which have not been found? How did Dean come to be fatally injured?”

In the days after his death, Mr Geary’s grandfather, Thomas Geary, 74, said: “Dean was on a night out with friends when we think he got split up from the group. He called his father, John, who told him to get a taxi. But Dean never made it home.

“Our original thought was that he might have been murdered, but his hands were still in his pockets when he was found, so maybe he fell.”

The teenager’s father, John Geary, 42, added: “He was phoning me thinking I was one of his pals – this was at 3:30am. He was trying to get hold of his pals – he didn’t sound threatened.

Central Scotland Police, which was merged into Police Scotland in April, announced they were treating Mr Geary’s death as “suspicious” and were investigating several possible causes of death including being struck by a vehicle or assaulted in February 2010.

That May, the force confirmed Mr Geary had been hit by a car, but his death was no longer being treated as suspicious.

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Later that year, taxi driver John Ross, 62, was charged with wasting police time by making a series of false allegations to officers three days after Dean died.

It was alleged that Mr Ross had falsely claimed that he had taken Dean from Glasgow city centre to the Drymen area along with two other men, who had murdered the teenager and robbed him.

His case was due to call for trial at Stirling Sheriff Court but was abandoned because a crucial prosecution witness was ill.

Mr Geary, who worked at Coulport naval base, near Helensburgh, was a talented amateur footballer.

Hundreds of mourners, including former Celtic player Murdo MacLeod, attended his funeral in April 2010.