Police find boy's body found

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The Independent Online
THE BODY of a five-year-old boy missing since Friday was last night found in the River Clyde in Glasgow - almost within sight of his home.

The discovery by a police diver of the submerged body of Ernest Barrie raised immediate questions about the security of the fencing in the area. A relative of the little boy said he had warned of the dangers of children having access to the water's edge six weeks ago and that nothing was done.

Local children said that a fence where Ernest's body was found, at Glasgow Rowing Club, had on Friday, been chained but loosely enough to allow a child to squeeze through.

Alex McCaughie, 53, who is married to the sister of the dead boy's father, said tonight he had found the gate leading to the area where Ernest's body was found, open six weeks ago.

He had tied it temporarily with a piece of string and had tried to complain at a nearby bowling club, but was told it was nothing to do with them. "I warned them about that gate six weeks ago. It was not just me, my wife Pauline warned too."

Through the day police - some on horseback, others with dogs, and some in a helicopter - scanned the Gorbals and outlying areas, many parts of which resemble a giant wasteland of derelict sites covered with rubble and scrub. The river Clyde runs through the area, and police divers and river experts were yesterday searching its banks.

The area where Ernest's body was found is near the busy Old Rutherglen Road. There is free access from the road to the river, which has a fence running along it. The body was discovered in the water near a flight of steps.

Yesterday, the child's parents, both said to be "devastated", remained in their home in the 15th floor of a tower block where police fended off media inquiries.

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