Media statement after sentencing re murder of Andrew Oates

Issued on behalf of the family of Andrew Oates following

Edinburgh High Court sentencing today (October 12, 2012)

THE family would like to express their gratitude to Martin Dunn and his team at Grampian Police for their investigation and securing justice for Andrew.

They did a thoroughly professional job. We also thank the Family Liaison Officers who were assigned to Andrew’s family. They were kind and sensitive to the distress we were going through following his death. The support given by Family Liaison should be available to all victims until sentencing is complete.

We also thank Alison Shaw and all from the Procurator Fiscal office for the support, guidance, hard work and dedication and Victim SupportScotlandfor their assistance.

We would like to redress the picture that has been painted of Andrew. He was a kind and generous man, much loved and is missed by his mum, dad, brothers and sisters.

His family wish him to be remembered as the beautiful person that he was.

His death was unwarranted and totally unnecessary and he will never be able to defend himself against some of the accusations that have been made about him. As his family, we defend him vigorously and would like to redress the picture that has been painted of him.

It took 22 months for the case to come to court. Fifteen of those months, and at a cost of £10,000, were spent trying to get our brother’s body back, in order to lay him to rest.  We were caught up in a quirk of Scottish law that cost us dearly; mentally, physically and financially.

Our pleas to the Scottish Government went unheard and we hope this is an issue the Government will address.

We feel the justice system let us down time and again and the sentence does not fit the crime. Although a guilty plea was finally submitted that could have occurred much earlier and saved us the distress and anxiety of the last two years.

This was a premeditated murder which significantly impacted on all of our families’ lives; it was a cold, calculated and brutal act. What sort of woman involves her children to conspire to murder? We suggest a very evil one.

As all of the accused were granted bail, and we had to live as a family in close proximity to them, this caused our family immense anxiety which turned us from not only victims but into prisoners in our own homes while the accused appeared to lead normal daily lives.

As a family would like to say that we fully support the Victims Justice System proposed by Peter Morris (brother of Claire Morris) who suggests that:

  • There is a single point of contact throughout a case.
  • Families should not have to live in the same street as those accused or convicted of harming their loved ones.
  • Financial support/reimbursement should be available to all immediate family.
  • This, as well as Criminal Injuries Compensation, should be an automatic right and needs to be reviewed by the Scottish Government.

We thank you all for attending today but ask that you now respect our privacy as our family starts the long road to recovery.

We, Andrew’s family, can still treasure the times when he would fill the room with laughter and his smile. This is imprinted on our hearts and nobody can take away our memories

Death leaves a heartache no-one can heal. Love leaves a memory no-one can steal.

Contact: David Sinclair
Phone: 07803970320
Email: david.sinclair@victimsupportsco.org.uk
Website: http://www.victimsupportsco.org.uk