New book covers unsolved case of death of Leamington teenager Jack Macleod
One of the most tragic unsolved police cases in the modern history of Leamington is revisited by the author of a new novel who worked on the investigation.
And the parents of Jack Macleod, the 17-year-old whose body was found in the River Leam in January 2006 a month after he had dissapeared after a night out, have said they hope Vince Smith's book Full Disclosure will 'reinvigorate' an official effort to find justice for their son.
Ewan, Jack's father, said: "We are very humbled that Vince concludes his memoirs with a chapter relating to his findings when tasked with reviewing the investigation into Jack's death.
"Where others failed, he succeeded and he was and still is convinced that our persistence in seeking the truth about what happened that fateful night was based on sound judgement and our realisation that we and Jack were being failed by those in who we should have been able to trust.
"Through reading Vince's book we learnt even more about what went wrong with the investigation."
"Whilst it is incredibly difficult to read, in a book or anywhere, about what is in reality your own nightmare, it is our hope that Vince's book goes some way towards re-invigorating an official effort to provide answers for which we, his family and the town have now waited 14 long years - justice for Jack."
In 2007 an inquest into Jack's death was halted after witness statements and a police interview transcript were not submitted to the coroner.
And in 2009, a manslaughter case against Mark Hoolichan , who was 21 at the time, collapsed when a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence.
The prosecution had claimed that Jack died after being assaulted during a night out.
Mr Hoolichan, then of Stubby Lane, Wolverhampton, maintained that he had left Jack, who was drunk, on a bench near the river and denied manslaughter and an alternative charge of manslaughter by gross negligence.
Speaking after Judge Melbourne Inman QC ruled that the trial should not continue, the police officer who led the inquiry into Jack’s death said his first thoughts were with the teenager’s family.
At the time Det Chief Insp Adrian McGee, who has since died, also noted that Jack’s family were still without answers despite a 'determined police inquiry'.
Det Chief Insp McGee said: “Over the past three years we have carried out a thorough investigation.
“Our determination to discover what happened to Jack did not waiver. We never stopped searching for the truth.
“In considering the submissions, Judge Inman said that the prosecution has left no stone unturned.
“Following the decision to end court proceedings, we will be considering what action, if any, should be taken.”
Full Disclosure, published on January 28 and available to buy on the Amazon website, is Mr Smith's memoir.
He worked on many murder enquiries before he retired from West Midlands Police as a detective sergeant.
In early 2007 he joined Warwickshire Police as a civilian investigator and started on the enquiry into Jack's death in July of that year.
In the final chapter of Full Disclosure, Mr Smith gives a full description of the work he undertook on the case and how it developed.