Yousaf 'promises' Emma Caldwell's family decision on inquiry 'within days'

First Minister Humza Yousaf met with Margaret Caldwell, other members of Emma's family and lawyer Aamer Anwar at Bute House on Tuesday.

Emma Caldwell’s family has been promised a decision “within days” on whether there will be a public inquiry into failings that allowed one of the UK’s worst sex offenders to walk free for 17 years.

First Minister Humza Yousaf met with Margaret Caldwell, other members of Emma’s family and lawyer Aamer Anwar at Bute House on Tuesday.

After the meeting, in a statement read by Mr Anwar, Margaret thanked the First Minister and justice secretary Angela Constance and said they treated her with “total compassion and empathy”.

“She hopes they will deliver on the many promises made today,” Mr Anwar said.

Emma Caldwell.Aamer Anwar & Company

“The First Minister promised that he will give primary consideration to the family’s demands for a statutory public inquiry, and the justice secretary- Angela Constance will update parliament within days on their decision.”

Constance said she and the First Minister had discussed Margaret’s call for a judge-led public inquiry and that both of them were “very open to this”.

“(The First Minister) was also clear that we wanted to meet with Emma’s family and hear their views directly before making any decisions,” the justice secretary said after the meeting.

“We will now seriously reflect on today’s discussion and give the family’s calls for a judge-led public inquiry primary consideration as we consider next steps. We have told the family we will take a quick decision and inform parliament when we do so.”

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.

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.

Ian Packer killed Emma Caldwell in 2005.BBC Scotland Disclosure, Who Killed Emma?

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.

“We know that evidence exists that the abduction, rape and murder of Emma Caldwell and the subsequent rapes of women might have been prevented or at least disrupted had allegations against Packer been properly investigated,” Mr Anwar said on Tuesday.

He said the family was angered by reports that an independent Crown Office investigation had concluded there was “insufficient evidence of criminality on the part of any police officer involved in the investigation of Emma Caldwell’s murder”.

“Such a conclusion is insulting to the family and contrasts sharply with the evidence presented by former police officers of their investigation into Iain Packer being sabotaged, in order to pursue a false allegation against four Turkish men,” Mr Anwar said.

“How many women have to die or be raped before our police service and criminal justice system is held to account.

“Both institutions of Crown Office and the Police must answer as to why one of the worst sex offenders in the UK was gifted his freedom for some 17 years.”

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