Dunblane victim's father loses battle

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The Independent Online
THE FATHER of a five-year girl, murdered during the Dunblane massacre, has lost his long-running battle for compensation even though he has been unable to work since the killings.

Charlie Clydesdale, 43, had to identify the body of his daughter Victoria after she had been murdered along with 15 school friends and a teacher by Thomas Hamilton in 1996.

He was signed off from his job in a papermill immediately after the killings suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and now suffers from depression. However, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board has ruled that his illness is not linked to his daughter's death. Mr Clydesdale had previously sought compensation from the board and been refused in 1997. This was his final appeal. After the decision, Mr Clydesdale, who lives with his second wife and four children in a council flat in Falkirk, said he was "disgusted".

He said: "A psychologist said my mental state was caused by the fact my own father was not around when I was growing up but that's rubbish. I was fine before the Dunblane incident." He said he is still learning how to cope with mood swings, feelings of paronoia and guilt.

Mr Clydesdale, who separated from Victoria's mother before she was born, added: "I think about Victoria every day. I will never get over her death. I will never forget the day she died. I can see her now on the trolley in a white sheet stained with her blood. I left her mother before she was born, but I was there at the birth and she was still my little girl."

Since the killings, more than 139 people have received compensation totalling around pounds 3m. But in many cases, the sums have been small. Aimie Adam, for example, was four when she was shot through the foot by Hamilton and saw her friends shot. She has received pounds 4,500.

There is controversy over a claim by two policewomen for pounds 400,000 each on the grounds that they were not offered sufficient counselling after the killings.