Couple ‘missed out’ of Mortonhall report

Mark and Alison Wilson, who were affected by the Mortonhall baby ashes story. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
Mark and Alison Wilson, who were affected by the Mortonhall baby ashes story. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
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A COUPLE whose stillborn baby was cremated at Mortonhall have slammed Edinburgh council after they were “missed out” from the preparation of a damning report into the ashes scandal.

Mark and Alison Wilson, who lost their son Douglas in 1985, were denied the chance to speak to former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini while she was writing the document.

The Mid Calder couple, both 55, also said they did not know that the report had been published until they read about it in the press at the end of last month.

This was despite other affected parents having the document hand-delivered to them in advance.

Dame Elish’s exhaustive report was written after shock revelations that hundreds of families were denied their babies’ remains after they were secretly buried by staff.

Her report has now been referred to the police for further investigation and a working group has been set up to act on its recommendations.

A short statement which Mr and Mrs Wilson submitted last year was included as a case study in the document, but they felt that was not enough when other parents had the chance to speak to Dame Elish.

The parents-of-two said they were so upset about being “missed out” – and angered by the report’s findings – that they have now decided to be part of class legal action alongside other parents. Mr Wilson, a finance manager, said: “Up until the report came out, we heard nothing from the council. We expected to be consulted in the report because they knew about us and had our information. The day of the report came and went and we didn’t get it.”

He added: “We were in a half-way house – we had made a statement about what happened to us at the time. We just feel that we have been missed out again.

“They didn’t give us any other explanation. We feel we have been let down.”

He said it was still difficult to think about losing Douglas at the Western General in 1985.

“There was no aftercare, no-one was looking after our pastoral well-being,” he said.

“We weren’t going to take court action – we were quite sanguine about it – but our attitude hardened when the report came out. Douglas could be sprinkled in the Scottish Highlands somewhere, we just don’t know.”

The Wilsons’ lawyer, Lindsay Bruce from Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The treatment of Mr and Mrs Wilson by Edinburgh City Council has been awful.”

Council chief executive Sue Bruce voiced “regret” they weren’t interviewed.

She said the parents have now been spoken to and it has been confirmed their case should be “included as part of the evidence being considered by the working group”.