Son fears running into father’s killer

Robert Eadie murdered James Airlie in 1999. Picture: Ciaran Donnelly
Robert Eadie murdered James Airlie in 1999. Picture: Ciaran Donnelly
Have your say

The son of a security guard tortured and murdered by a co-worker has told how his father’s killer spends day release in a hostel minutes from his house – and fears meeting him in the street.

David Airlie, 30, spoke out as it was revealed his dad James’ murderer, Robert Eadie, ­married prison social worker Lynne Stevens last month while home on leave from ­Castle Huntly.

Eadie launched a ­brutal assault against colleague Mr Airlie in 1999 after he ­suspected the father-of-four of “grassing him up” to his security bosses over a driving charge.

He received a life sentence for slashing Mr Airlie, 47, ­pouring boiling water over his head and breaking nearly all his ribs in a frenzied attack commited alongside accomplice Peter Tatton.

A senior pathologist said the victim’s injuries were among the worst he had ever seen in a 20-year career dealing with homicides.

Today, Mr Airlie’s son, David – who was just 14 at the time of the murder – condemned prison authorities who failed to tell the family Eadie had been granted day release.

He said he was sickened that Eadie was living ­minutes from his own Leith Walk home when on leave from jail. He added: “I could have easily bumped into him on the street.If I saw him I would have just frozen. I’m trying to get in touch with the prison service to ask why we have not been informed.”

The Scottish Prison ­Service (SPS) said it operates a “victim notification scheme”.

Victims and relatives can register to ensure they are told when criminals are subject to day release – but prisoner ­locations are not disclosed.

Mr Airlie said his family received little support when his father died and the murder had “ruined” his life.

“It’s torn my family to bits,” he said. “We don’t really see each other, we don’t really speak to each other, and when we do none of this is mentioned.

“I have found it so overwhelming, I have supressed it all these years.”

Speaking about Eadie’s marriage to the social worker, Mr Airlie added: “It’s a sham. [His wife] apparently said that the marriage was morally sound, and that she believes in his life.

“Her comments are so contradictory – she’s clearly not thinking of other people. He’ll be hoping to show that he’s stable and fit for parole.”

An SPS spokesman said: “It is not appropriate for us to comment on individual prisoners. There is a victim notification scheme that will notify next of kin when individuals are eligible for access to the community. It needs to be an approved address, mainly the address of a family member of an approved hostel.”