A senior journalist on a regional daily helped his father carry out a six-year private investigation into the ‘monster’ who murdered his aunt in a bid to ensure he stays behind bars.
Jock Reid was jailed for a minimum of 15 years after he tortured, sexually assaulted and killed Elaine Collie during a robbery at her Edinburgh home in 1999.
He is eligible for parole in 2014 – but Elaine’s brother Fred believes he could still represent a risk to the public.
Together with his son Jason, who is assistant editor of the Oxford Mail, he spent six years tracking down and interviewing three of Reid’s earlier victims in order to compile a dossier of his crimes.
Now Fred, who lives in New Zealand, has made a round-the-world trip to deliver his dossier to the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) in the hope their findings will be considered when Reid’s parole bid comes before them.
He believes statements from Reid’s victims show earlier assault convictions were sexually motivated and part of a pattern of escalating violence that was not taken into account when he was handed his original 15-year jail term.
Grandad-of-two Fred said: “This is not a crusade aimed at keeping Reid in prison until the day he dies.
“It is about us trying to ensure the people who make the decision about him getting parole have the full picture and make a proper assessment for the protection of the public. We don’t want another Elaine.”
Jason added: “People don’t just wake up one day and torture and murder their neighbour and the information we have researched shows attacks on lone women going back to 1975.
“Our concern is that rehabilitation cannot be complete unless the people working with Reid have the full background picture.”
During the attack at Elaine’s flat in Muirhouse, Edinburgh, in April 1999, Reid hit his victim on the head with a weapon, tied her to a bed and gagged her with a towel before sexually assaulting her. He then tortured her with electric shocks from a blanket.
He was jailed for life at the High Court in Edinburgh in October 1999 after pleading guilty to murder, with a recommendation that he serve at least 15 years.
Fred and Jason’s investigations revealed that two of the previous assault cases involved women being attacked from behind and had sexual elements.
The Collies also commissioned a clinical psychologist, Frank McPherson, to assess Reid as part of their dossier. He concluded there was a high risk of him re-offending.
Said Jason: “It took an enormous amount of courage for all three women to speak to us – complete strangers – about very traumatic events in their lives. But they don’t want a repeat of what happened to Elaine either.
“We have gone to these lengths because the justice system has not been able to.”
The SPS are understood to have held talks with the Collies about the most appropriate way for them to present the information they have gathered.
But a spokesman said they could not comment on the cases of individual prisoners.
- A fuller report on Fred and Jason’s investigations can be seen in the Daily Record.