Emma Caldwell's mum to meet Lord Advocate ahead of inquiry announcement

It comes as Police Scotland's chief constable backed calls for a probe into the botched investigation.

Emma Caldwell’s mother will meet with Scotland’s top lawyer in Edinburgh as the Government is set to announce a public inquiry into her murder.

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain will meet with Margaret Caldwell at the Crown Office on Thursday morning. It comes after Emma’s family met with Police Scotland’s chief constable and First Minister Humza Yousaf earlier this week.

Chief constable Jo Farrell said she backed calls for a public inquiry after the force apologised for failings that saw it take 17 years to charge Emma’s killer.

“Emma Caldwell, her family, and many other victims, were let down by policing in 2005. I am sorry. I offered that apology personally to Emma’s family today and I am grateful they gave me the opportunity and to listen to their perspective and experience,” CC Farrell said.

“It is important that Emma’s family and the public get answers to the many questions they have. I therefore support the family’s calls for a public inquiry.”

Scotland’s justice secretary is expected to announce a public inquiry into the police’s handling of Emma’s murder investigation in Holyrood on Thursday afternoon.

Last week, Iain Packer was jailed for life after being found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow of murdering 27-year-old Emma in 2005 and of multiple sex offences involving 22 other women.

The serial rapist had been a suspect in the case but it took nearly two decades before he was charged.

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.

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

Emma’s family and their lawyer Aamer Anwar have been calling for a public inquiry into the failings of the police investigation.

On Tuesday, First Minister Humza Yousaf “promised” there would be a decision whether there will be a public inquiry within days.

Emma’s family believe Police Scotland failed their daughter and the rape victims due to a “toxic culture of misogyny and corruption”, adding in a statement: “Instead of receiving justice and compassion, they were humiliated, dismissed and in some instances arrested, whilst the police gifted freedom to an evil predator to rape and rape again.”

Outside the High Court in Glasgow, solicitor Aamer Anwar said: “Margaret believes that officers sabotaged an investigation into Packer for a decade and have blood on their hands, for far too long they have remained in the shadows, but must now answer for their betrayal.”

On Tuesday, the retired detective superintendent who led the initial investigation into Emma’s murder welcomed Packer’s conviction and said he supported calls for an public inquiry.

Willie Johnston, who was the case’s senior investigating officer, said he was “more than content to tell my story” to a public inquiry.

Retired detectives believe Police Scotland and the Crown Office wasted time and money pursuing the wrong suspects in the murder investigation.

They also believe they had enough evidence to convict Packer of Emma’s murder for almost two decades.

The murder inquiry comprised of two parallel operations – codenamed Grail and Guard – with one operation focusing on Packer and the other on a group of Turkish men.

Ex-detective Davie Barr, who questioned Packer and went to the woods with him, was part of the intelligence-led Operation Grail.

Over a period of several months, Packer gave six voluntary statements. By the time he spoke to Mr Barr, his story had changed – not only did he know Emma, he had taken her to woods in South Lanarkshire.

Packer agreed to go with police to that location in 2007. Emma’s body was found just yards from where he told detectives to park.

Packer remained a witness, but not a suspect, at that particular point time.

This was because Operation Guard was focused on a group of Turkish men. One of them had made the last call to Emma’s mobile.

Sunday Mail front page, April 5, 2015.Reach plc

Seven weeks after the Sunday Mail front page on April 5, 2015, the then Lord Advocate agreed to reopen the murder investigation but it was another seven years before Packer was arrested.

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