THE DAD of a brave Black Watch soldier who died on holiday in
Portugal has compared police handling of his
son’s case to Madeline McCann.
It has been more than a year since Lance Corporal Darren Lackie
died in the Albufeira resort, but his dad
Graham says he is still waiting for
Police say the soldier died in a drunken fall and have stopped
their investigation, but Graham is convinced
he died after being mugged.
Darren Lackie was an Afghanistan
Graham’s MP, senior Liberal Democrat Ming Campbell, has taken up
the case, saying he will drag in the Foreign
Secretary if more action isn’t taken.
Graham, 53, says the case is chillingly similar to the handling of
Madeleine McCann’s dissapearance in another
Algarve resort in 2007.
The 21-year-old Afghanistan veteran from Cupar, Fife, was found
unconscious with head injuries on 31 March
2011, and he died shortly afterwards.
He was hailed as a “gifted soldier” and a “tremendous young man”
when he was laid to rest in April last
The squaddie’s father says he has seen toxicology evidence which
cats doubt on the official version of
He says police are covering up his son’s killing to protect the
tourist industry in the Algarve resort.
Graham said: “The police version of events is very different now
from what it was 13 months ago.
“There are all sorts of glaring inconsistencies; for example, they
said initially that there were eyewitnesses
who’s seen Darren fall over but now they say
there were no witnesses.
“They also said that Darren was drunk but now they say he wasn’t. I
know for a fact that Darren hadn’t been
drinking that night and I know he didn’t
“Whatever happened to him wasn’t his fault.
“I think the police want to cover up the whole thing so as not to
put off tourists, especially as it’s emerged
that a British man was killed by a young
Portugese gang in Albufiera just 10 days
Graham added Darren’s mobile phone was only found 13 months after
The police told him it had been taken by a maid at the hotel he was
Darren had injuries to the back of his head and behind his ear.
Graham said doctors told him these injuries were not consistent
with a fall.
Toxicology reports showed there was hardly any alcohol in his
system, but a rare sedative was present.
Initial reports that Darren was found ouside the bar were also
inaccurate, Graham said.
“Darren is supposed to have to have fallen and travelled 50 yards,”
He continued: “It’s like with Maddie, they’re making the story up
to suit what they think.
“Nothing rings true to what they originally said.”
“They won’t admit they were wrong, especially in the wake of
English tourist Ian Haggarth, 50, died after being attacked less
than a fortnight before Lance Corporal
Lackie was found unconscious in the same
And Garaham said: “Another guy died with the same injury as Darren
about a month later.”
Graham’s quest for answers has been helped by his MP Sir Ming
Campbell, who has written to the Foreign
Office asking for answers from the Portugese
Lance Corporal Lackie was relaxing ahead of another tour of
Afghanistan when the tragedy happened.
He had been on holiday with his girlfriend Ashleigh Wilson, 21,
when he died.
Menzies Campbell MP said: “I shall be very dissapointed if if the
investigations in Portugal have ceased.
“I shall be contacting Mr Lackie to discuss with him the
consequences of any such decision.
“If necessary I will raise the matter with the Foreign Secretary.”
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