(Extract from the full transcript)
Brian Docherty: Well, we lived between Fraserburgh and Peterhead at the time, on this Viscount’s estate. It was slightly closer, I’d say to Fraserburgh, so it was the local ... I called this hotline—101 or, you know, the standard line, and they put me in touch with a local officer, called Sergeant Sam Buchan.
David Scott: So, what did Sergeant Buchan do?
Brian Docherty: Well, when he took my call, he was aware of who I was. I’d already spoken to a woman in the Call Centre and she’d recommended this man. Rather peculiarly, he asked me about my children first of all. When I mentioned what this was about, he was very calm. He said he had “just the officers for the job” and he told me to attend Peterhead Police Station, which was further away from where we were based, that night at 7 o’clock,..
So I went to Peterhead at 7 o’clock and I met with two officers … and, contrary to what Sergeant Buchan had said, these two officers were extremely new Probationers or maybe a year more than that, but no more than that. In terms of experience, they were very inexperienced.
The next day, Buchan—this was Saturday the 9th—came to our house. He refused to come in the house. He was attending with Kathryn Lamont, who I’d seen previously with another PC, and he spent the best part of half an hour attempting to dissuade us over and over and over …
David Scott: So, let me just follow the timeline here. So you report this to the National Crime Agency on the 4th [August 2014], they direct you to the local police, you go to the local police on the 8th, and then one day later, on the 9th, the Sergeant in charge is at your door and he’s trying to dissuade you from taking the complaint forward?
Brian Docherty: That’s right. He had made no investigation.
Brian Docherty: Case closed. He actually said to us that … he said, “Well, we asked him, ‘Are you a paedophile?’ and he said, ‘No’.”
Janice Docherty: So there he was, and he just kept saying, “How can I persuade you there’s nothing here?”
Brian Docherty: “How can I convince you there’s nothing here?” “How can I persuade you?” “What will it take for you to realise there is nothing here?” “What will it take for this to go away?” It was phrases like that which, at the time, we thought were very odd.. And when we were speaking to Sergeant Buchan, what we were getting was comments which were quite incredible or ludicrous, to the point where he would say things like, “Why would you think he was a paedophile?” I said, “Well, he offered me twenty-five grand for my son.” He’d go, “That doesn’t make him a paedophile.”
So Sergeant Sam Buchan ran the investigation, appointed inexperienced officers, spoke to the alleged paedophile, accepted his denials and, in less than 24 hours, concluded all was well. But it gets worse; a report was submitted to social services directing them to take an interest in the Docherty family, not the alleged paedophile or his associates. That report was authored by PC Kathryn Lamont:
David Scott: So, PC Kathryn Lamont … you contacted her regarding the Report of Concern that was submitted under her name to Social Services. So, what did she say?
Brian Docherty: She … she was very startled when I phoned her, and she didn’t appear to … from what I told her, from what the social work manager told me about the contents of the report, she was totally flummoxed, if that’s the right word— she had no idea about the contents of this report, and she said to me, “Look, I’m going to have to go and read the report—if I can call you back in five minutes?” So, I was asking her, “Why did you say this, why would you write these things when we reported a paedophile, why would you say our family were isolated, why would you say we were obsessed with paedophiles or fixated,” I think the word was, and she said, “I’ve got to go and … if you don’t mind, give me five minutes.” She was initially quite hostile, but when she listened to what I had to say, she said she would phone back. She phoned back something closer to 45 minutes later, in a panic, and she said to me, “I’d like to come and see you to talk about this. If it’s OK, if I could bring my Union Representative, Sergeant Clare Smith?” And I said, “Why do you want to bring your Union rep? This is not a police union matter.” She said, “I’d like to come out and try and talk to you and your wife about this.” And she was very, very startled or very spooked, because it seemed at the time there was something not right here. Obviously, I knew there was something very not right, but what I later discovered was that this was not her report. She was off on annual leave, and Buchan went off on annual leave after she [did] … so when she returned, he went off on annual leave and the report which was submitted by her was not the report which was submitted to Social Services, and the allegations made were fabricated and submitted against our family, she, clearly, had no knowledge of.
Describing the findings of the Police Investigation & Review Commissioner (PIRC) Brian said:
And in that report, of our twelve complaints they upheld eleven of them, and one of the key ones was the initial action which referred our family to Social Services, and in that they said that there was no justification for the referral to Social Services—and they went stronger than that, and they encouraged in correspondence that I report Sergeant Sam Buchan to the Procurator Fiscal’s office that deals with police: Police … I can’t remember the acronym, but it was to do with criminal actions against police officers, because what they stated was that there was no justification for this and they stated that the subject of the report should not have been our family.
Janice Docherty: And that Sergeant Buchan had obviously altered PC Lamont’s Concern Report. Where[as] she’d written about Alan Low, Buchan had altered it to make it about our family, while she was off on annual leave.
Brian Docherty: What she told me on the telephone [was] that she wrote a report, and what she told me was that she wrote a report identifying the concerns that we had about the neighbour and identifying the threat against our property and our family, based on what we reported about anti-social behaviour, men … three men in a car late at night, the banging noises, the dead animals, the greenhouse, etc, etc. She put that in her report, but that was changed into this Concern Report, which made our family the target of Social Services, as a result of this fictitious … this report by Police Scotland officers.
In summary, after a blatantly and intentionally inept investigation, Sergeant Sam Buchan then attempts to persuade the Dochertys to forget about their concerns and when this fails, he fabricates a report under the name of a colleague so that Social Services lock on to the Docherty family with a view to taking the children into care. His conduct is so grievous that PIRC recommend criminal proceedings via the Procurator Fiscal's office. This is a litany of crimes of the worst sort, a damning indictment of an officer unfit to wear the uniform.
So let us take a look at Sergeant Sam Buchan in this case from a Press & Journal report which describes “A Fraserburgh police officer has launched an innovative new campaign to steer the town’s young people away from the dangers of legal highs.” The article contains a photo and a more trustworthy-looking officer it would be hard to imagine. But looks can be deceiving.
And this Fraserburgh Herald article show him helping the P5 and P6 pupils of Inverallochy School to raise money for the same charity in a mini marathon:
Those kids raised over £1700 and the sergeant is helpfully wearing a bib marked “Sam” so the children know what to call him. The teacher on the left of the photo is Mrs Maureen Buchan, Sam’s mum.
We all (now) know that running marathons for charity is no guarantee of goodness. Still this seems an unlikely profile for an officer operating in the shadows and conducting himself as the Dochertys describe.
And here he is helping the new Police Scotland recruits settle in at a fun day:
How do we resolve these different pictures of this officer? How can the new-recruit-guiding, marathon running Sam Buchan who fights to get kids off drugs, respects his father's memory and loves his mum be the same officer who deceived, let down and fitted up the Docherty family? The answer, it turns out, is simple: he cannot be the same man. When shown the Press and Journal picture of the sergeant in uniform the Dochertys were absolutely clear: “No, that’s definitely not him. Sergeant Sam Buchan was a much older man, with greying hair. He looked nothing like that, different features entirely.”
So who was the uniformed officer who came to the Dochertys' house claiming to be Sergeant Buchan? Clearly he was a Police Scotland officer, as he was able to arrange interviews. Likely he was a sergeant and wore his own uniform. Whoever this officer was, he appears to have conducted the investigation in the worst traditions of cover-up and conspiracy. He most certainly deserves a thorough criminal investigation - as recommended by PIRC, the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner and quite possibly should be tried before a jury of his peers. But one thing is clear, his real name was NOT Sam Buchan.
Questions, as always with this case, multiply:
Did the Dochertys originally speak to Sergeant Sam Buchan on the phone or not?
How did the officer who came to Crimonmogate pass himself off as Sam Buchan and why?
Why did neither the police complaint process nor two PIRC investigations reveal that Sam Buchan was not the officer involved?
And most importantly, who did this? Who framed Sam Buchan?