The transcript of a private meeting between Sir Richard and a witness to the inquiry has been seen by the Independent. In it, the former judge confesses: "I read the newspapers like everybody else, and I wonder like everybody else where Mark Thatcher gothis money from."
Later, he says: "I am as curious as the next man or woman and would quite like to know how he made it." He was questioning Brian Smith, a defence industry analyst.
Mr Smith told the judge he could put his inquiry in touch with a confidential source closely involved in business dealings with Mr Thatcher. This was not the first time Sir Richard had been exhorted to investigate Baroness Thatcher's son. He refused. He told Mr Smith:"Everybody wanted me to interview Mark Thatcher but it would be an abuse of my position to use it otherwise than for the purposes of inquiring into the matters which are within my terms of reference."