San family furious at investigation DCI promotion

Promoted: DCI Blair led the heavily criticized investigation

THE FAMILY of murdered delivery driver Simon San say they have been left “betrayed” and “sickened” after the officer in charge of the investigation was promoted.

Mr San, 40, was killed in August last year after being attacked by a gang outside his family’s takeaway in Edinburgh.

Relatives claim there is no justification for decision to promote DCI Gareth Blair to the rank of Detective Superintendent.

An inquiry into the murder investigation found found “significant failings” in the police’s repeated denials that the killing was racist.

The force’s Deputy Chief Constable, Steve Allen, made a high-profile public apology for the force’s handling of the case.

Today the family said apology had been nothing but a “public show”.

In a statement, they said: “We believe that no explanation can justify [the decision to promote DCI Blair] considering the pain [he] and his colleagues have inflicted on the family.

“We feel deeply betrayed by Lothian and Borders Police and by Mr Allen in particular. We trusted Mr Allen to do right for the family, however we now feel Mr Allen says one thing but does the other.


“Some of our family members felt sickened by the news and no longer wish to have any interaction with the police on this matter. We feel the trust we had in the police is completely lost.

They added: “We now feel the public apology was just a public show. We feel we have been lied to by Mr Allen as he continually reassured us the complaints were being handled seriously by the force and by himself.”

Simon San died after hitting his head on the ground

Mr San died after hitting his head on the ground after being struck by 16-year-old John Reid.

The teenager was jailed for five years for culpable homicide while two others – Michael Roberts, 16, and Keir Rodger, 16 – were sentenced to 24 months and 26 months respectively.

The police decided the attack was a robbery because San’s wallet and mobile were taken, and claimed he had been “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

They ignored the family’s belief that it was racially motivated, based on earlier incidents and eyewitness testimony that his attackers called San “chinky”.

Jim Eadie, MSP for Edinburgh Southern, said the family had been let down by DCI Blair’s promotion, adding that confidence in the police had been “badly undermined”.

“The San family were badly let down when police failed to listen to them and record and investigate the murder of Simon San as a racial incident,” he said. “Now the family have been let down again. I am aware of the deep hurt which has been caused to the San family by this decision and I have been left in no doubt as to the damage which this decision has done to police relations with the Chinese and wider community.”

Foysol Choudhury, chair of Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC), said: “This promotion will have significant impact on public opinion about the police and will cause considerable damage to the fragile relationship the force has with the Chinese community and wider minority ethnic communities.”

A police spokesman said: “Mr Allen’s offer remains open to meet with the San family or Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC) to discuss the matter.”