Chairman His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson opened the meeting with the four apologies that had been offered. This week’s “Bon Mot” was about the close proximity of six male jurors and six female jurors in a confined jury room for some hours and “Not Guilty” being reported–unusual in this day and age!!
Today’s Speaker was Mr Ivan Gibson from Knaresborough Men’s Forum and by profession a Consultant Pathologist. His discourse would be titled “Lockerbie: Medical- legal Evidence”.
The talk focussed on the Pan Am 103 flight that was blown up over Lockerbie on December 21st 1988 at around 7 p.m. resulting in the loss of 270 lives (259 passengers and crew; 11 ground casualties). The wreckage was spread over 845 square miles as far as the North Sea and registered at 1.6 on the Richter Scale with a massive ground crater. Many Americans were on the flight but overall twenty nationalities were involved. Ivan, who was Consultant Pathologist at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary at the time, was asked to assist in the investigation of the crash by Procurator Fiscal James McDougall. This involved complex problems and recording of the sites/state of the bodies involved in the investigation and getting all the equipment needed. The Town Hall, School and Ice Rink (refrigeration purposes) were used in Lockerbie as bases for storage and examinations and the process also involved external liaison with other bodies e.g medical; police, military etc.
Supported by a slide show Ivan explained some of the procedures and pain staking processes that were followed such as the means of identifying victims including the use of medical and dental records and identifying marks e.g. tatoos.
He touched on the personal impact of the investigation and although resilient himself how it affected his sleep patterns. A number of questions were responded to at the talk’s conclusion.
The Vote of Thanks on behalf of the forty attendees was given by Mike Tutt.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY