Book Review - The Forgotten Murder by ABI former member Brian Birt, is available in hard copy and Kindle edition from Amazon, click here.
This is the harrowing story of one mans quest for justice for his son, it involves Murder the Catholic Faith, Police Scotland, the Procurator Fiscal ( COPFS ) and the notorious "No Comment" reply that every accused person is entilted to use whilst being interviewed under Police Caution, and the dripping roast that is the Scottish Legal Aid Board, where a high majority of Criminal Defence lawyers earn their money from.
It's all about the money.
Brian's first born son Darren Francis Birt was born on the 28th of June 1980 and was murdered with unparalleled savagery on the 28th of August 2002
Darren lay in the morgue for three hundred and four days whilst Police Scotland continued with their criminal investigations into his murder.
Some 16 years on, this book tells the harrowing story of Brian's continuing fight for justice, his tangible (and understandable) frustrations with the flawed Scottish legal system, and his determination to see his son’s murderers pay for their heinous crime. As he says, four lives were lost the day Darren died, not just his.
The Forgotten Murder - Justice for Darren isn’t just about a father’s unsurmountable grief and his family’s heartbreak, it’s also a moving memoir which begins with his earliest memories as a young boy in Glasgow. As the third eldest child (of eleven) of Bingo Annie (a Protestant) and his father, The Fighting Irish, (a staunch Catholic) he has an eclectic mix of anecdotes and memories to share – which he does with honesty and relish.
He also touches on the devastation that mental health struggles have on families, and the barbaric way in which those struggling were dealt with in the latter half of the 20th century. What also makes this book such a thought-provoking and memorable read is the author’s presentation of his Catholic faith and his struggles with his relationship with God during some of the darkest times of his life.
Brian's youngest son Kevin, and his now ex wife's grief is unimaginable not only for the loss but because of the nature of Darren's death, the back of his head smashed in with a hammer and stabbed in the back, and left to die in a cold pavement in Barlanark in the East End of Glasgow
Three men were quickly charged with murdering Brian's son, one notably had served a life sentence for a previous murder and his weapon of choice on that occasion was a sickle
All three were released by the Procurator Fiscal due to a lack of corroborated evidence , the case did not go to court and to this day they have never darkened the steps of the High Court in Glasgow for murdering Darren.
Brian has been fighting for justice for his son but to date to no avail, he has formed the view in his mind that Police Scotland and the Procurators grade murder based on a variety of elements, which are outlined in his book, he believes it's all about the money
Brian has had several meetings with the Fiscals whereby he put it to them that as they now class his son's murder as a " cold case" they should put this on Crime Watch in an effort to obtain new evidence, however this was dismissed out of hand.
It's all about the money