Minister: press harassed my family over son's death
Thursday 23 September 1999
In a letter to the Press Complaints Commission he said that despite having "some experience of the press", he had been "genuinely shocked by their harassment" of his family. His son Hugh, 23, was found dead in his Glasgow flat by his mother two days ago.
Mr McCartney did not lodge a formal complaint with the commission but said: "My former wife ... has been persistently disturbed with ... demands from the press that she speak to them or supply them with a picture of my son. My elderly parents ... and my sister have been subject to the same treatment ... Surely any family is entitled to some space at this time?"
Hugh McCartney's death, say those who knew him, could have been prevented if the authorities had acted quicker. He was freed last week from prison in Glasgow, where he was serving a sentence for a dishonesty conviction. In jail he received methadone, a heroin substitute but by the time he was out he had been required to go "cold turkey".
A week later he was dead, having gone back to his heroin suppliers. Unaccustomed to the drug after several months, it would have been easy to overdose. He should not have been left without methadone - since last year, Scottish prisons are supposed to ensure continuity of care using it.
Mr McCartney had asked Glasgow City Council to move him out of his tenement block, where he moved two years ago to be near his mother. He said he felt suicidal and feared for his safety because of rowdy neighbours and the prevalence of drugs.
Experts highlighted the significance of his request, saying that it is vital to keep addicts out of drug ghettos to give them a chance to go clean. But the council's plans to transfer him were implemented too slowly. Yesterday workmen boarded up the flat.
Hugh McCartney was his father's only son, the third child after Karen, 30, and Yvonne, 27. Ian McCartney married Hugh's mother, Jean, in 1969 and the couple divorced in 1986.
- 1 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 2 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...