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Simon San's dad, Trieu Seng San, wants answers over his son's death
Simon San's dad, Trieu Seng San, wants answers over his son's death
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THE family of tragic takeaway delivery driver Simon San is set to lodge a formal complaint against the Crown Office after renewing calls for an inquiry into the prosecution of his killing.

Mr San’s father, Trieu Seng San, has described his “deep anger” over its handling of the family’s desire for an official inquiry by the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC.

The San family was left upset after the Crown Office refused to mount an investigation just hours after Lothian and Borders Police publicly apologised for a catalogue of failures during its initial inquiry.

They criticised the lack of “respect” over this quick decision, while the family was also unhappy to learn of the move through press releases.

Meanwhile, the family’s solicitor, Aamer Anwar, is writing to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and other MSPs to seek their support for an inquiry.

Mr San died in August last year after being assaulted by youths near his family’s Chinese takeaway in Lochend Road, with 16-year-old John Reid later jailed for five years for culpable homicide.

The police inquiry, launched following complaints from the San family, found that officers failed to record the killing as a racist crime, despite witnesses telling them the youths who attacked Mr San had referred to him as a “Chinky”.

The witness statements were passed to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), which declined to prosecute the youths with a racially aggravated offence.

Following the release of the inquiry report on Tuesday, the Crown Office responded with a press statement that said these submissions did “not amount to sufficient evidence in law of racial motivation, or to a racially aggravated breach of the peace”.

In a letter now sent to the Lord Advocate, Trieu Seng San said: “We learnt that racist language was used to describe my son by the perpetrators shortly after the attack on Simon. The police told us that there were three separate witness statements containing the use of racist language against my son.

“We also learnt that a number of accused have a history of racist behaviour.

“When my family was told about these facts, we were shocked. We were further astounded when the inquiry team told us the witness statements and past history of the perpetrators were shared and discussed with COPFS.

“We were astonished because representatives of COPFS have repeatedly told us that the police had found no evidence to support that the attack was racially motivated.”

He added: “We had a right to know the full circumstances of our son’s death, not just simply up to the point of the attack. If they referred to our son in a racist manner, we had a right to know.”

A Crown Office spokesman said it could not comment.

Michael Roberts, 16, and Keir Rodger, 16, admitted carrying out an assault on Mr San. Roberts was jailed for 26 months while Rodger received 24 months after their sentences were cut on appeal.

amcewen@edinburghnews.com