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Email from Sam Poling, Reporter, Frontline Scotland to Jim O'Neill, Communications Manager, Scottish Prison Service, 12/02/03

This email was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from the Scottish Prison Service (SPS). The BBC claimed that they had no knowledge of it, or of a second email sent by Ms Poling to the SPS on the 21/02/03, and that is why the were not released when an official application for all data and information pertaining to a victim was first made.

From:  Sam Poling [sam.poling@bbc.co.uk]
Sent:  12 February 2003 13:20
To:  'James.O'Neill2@sps.gov.uk'
Subject:  Request for Interview with Mr John Porteous

Dear Jim

Following our telephone conversation today, I would like to formally request permission for an interview with a Mr John Porteous who is currently residing at HMP Peterhead. He was transferred there recently from Barlinnie after receiving an eight-year sentence for lewd and libidinous behaviour. The offences were alleged to have taken place at Quarriers Homes in Inverclyde between 1972-1974.

As you are aware, I am a reporter with Frontline Scotland and we are investigating a possible miscarriage of justice regarding the conviction of Mr Porteous. We believe we have information which could prove that the two accusers were not honest when giving evidence during Mr Porteous's trial and therefore we are now questioning his guilt. Three of our interviewees are members of the alleged victims' families who say their brothers/sisters etc are lying. I only point this out to you to highlight that in no way will any added stress be brought to the victims' families because they are fully in support of our programme and John Porteous. In any case, as this is a matter of a sexual nature, we are not allowed to identify any of the victims unless they give us leave to do so.

We are aware that John Porteous is more than happy to be interviewed by ourselves and we are receiving every co-operation from his legal team. We feel it is vital that Mr Porteous is able to speak freely with us to help us gain any information which could prove that a miscarriage has taken place which we strongly believe is the case.

We would like this interview to be recorded on camera to be included in our programme which is due to be transmitted some time in April/early May. The people involved in the interview would be myself as reporter, Sonya Rothwell who is the producer of the programme and a two man crew - camera and sound. We would like to carry out this interview at Peterhead at your earliest convenience.

Should you require any further details, please don't hesitate to contact myself on my mobile or Sonya Rothwell.

I look forward to hearing from you.

With kind regards

Sam

Samantha Poling
Frontline Scotland
BBC Scotland
0141 338 3094

 
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