Put fingerprint experts in dock, says father

THOSE who put Shirley McKie, the fingerprint-case victim, in the dock should themselves face criminal charges, her father said yesterday.

Iain McKie, 66, a former police officer, challenged the Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd, QC, to take action against fingerprint experts whose evidence led to his daughter standing trial for perjury. Mr McKie said: "If he fails to do that, I will be seeking to institute a private prosecution."

Specialists in the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO) wrongly said that a print in the home of a murdered woman came from Ms McKie, who was part of the police inquiry team.

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Mr McKie said the mistake was responsible "for sending my daughter to hell and back".

Meanwhile, Alex Neil, a Scottish National Party MSP, said that Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, should "resign in disgrace" or be sacked over the incident.

On Tuesday, Ms McKie, a former Strathclyde Police detective, received a 750,000 out-of-court settlement in a damages action against the Scottish Executive, on behalf of the fingerprint bureau in the SCRO.

At Ms McKie's trial for perjury , doubt was cast on the evidence of the SCRO officers and the jury unanimously found her not guilty.

In settling the case, the Executive said no admission of liability was being made, beyond "an unfortunate and honest" mistake in misidentifying the print.