Emma Caldwell's mum to meet First Minister after calling for public inquiry

Humza Yousaf will hold talks with Margaret Caldwell after suggesting he is considering a judge-led public enquiry into Emma's death.

Emma Caldwell’s mum will meet the First Minister on Tuesday following her call for a public inquiry into the failings surrounding the investigation into the murder of her daughter.

Humza Yousaf will hold talks with Margaret Caldwell and lawyer Aamer Anwar at Bute House.

They will then meet with Police Scotland chief constable Jo Farrell on Wednesday afternoon and Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain on Thursday morning.

The meetings come after Iain Packer was jailed for life with a recommendation that he serve at least 36 years after being found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow of murdering 27-year-old Emma in 2005 and of multiple offences involving other women.

Emma’s family have called for a public inquiry into failures by the authorities over the investigation of her murder in 2005.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions last Thursday, Yousaf said: “A judge-led public inquiry is something that we’re exploring, is absolutely not off the table and is something we’re giving very serious consideration to given the systemic failings in this case”.

Mrs Caldwell welcomed the possibility of a public inquiry but said there can be no more delay.

She told The Sunday Post newspaper: “I was 57 when Emma died and I’m 78 now. How long must I wait to be told exactly who failed Emma and why?

“I have no patience for more talk and empty promises. Only actions count now.”

Police Scotland has apologised to Emma’s family and Packer’s other victims, admitting they were “let down” by policing.

Emma was reported missing by her family in April 2005 and her body was found the following month in Limefield Woods, near Roberton, South Lanarkshire.

In 2015, a Sunday Mail newspaper story branded Packer “the forgotten suspect” and Police Scotland launched a re-investigation of the case that year following instruction from the Lord Advocate.

Margaret said that her husband Willie died of cancer and “with a broken heart” in 2011 before seeing justice for his daughter.

She said her daughter always said she would come home and sort herself out, adding “every day it breaks my heart” that she never got the chance.

A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “This week, the Lord Advocate will meet with Emma’s family and their solicitor to answer questions about the investigation and criminal proceedings.

“We feel that to respect this meeting it would not be appropriate to comment publicly on matters which should be discussed first with Emma’s family.

“However, we can confirm a previous statement that, following a full independent investigation, Crown Counsel concluded that there was insufficient evidence of criminality on the part of any police officer involved in the investigation of Emma Caldwell’s murder.

“As in all cases, the Crown reserved the right to proceed in the future should further evidence become available.”

Following Packer’s conviction on Wednesday, assistant chief constable for major crime and public protection Bex Smith said: “Police Scotland launched a re-investigation of the case in 2015 after instruction from the Lord Advocate.

“It is clear that further investigations should have been carried out into Emma’s murder following the initial inquiry in 2005.

“The lack of investigation until 2015 caused unnecessary distress to her family and all those women who had come forward to report sexual violence.”

Police said that, over seven years, a full review of the original inquiry by Strathclyde Police in 2005 was completed.

A spokesperson said: “As part of the re-investigation, a report was also sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in relation to the Strathclyde Police investigation.”

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