Since first meeting him in December 1984 when he arrived in H3, having been sentenced to twenty years, we have been friends. When his trial began at the end of last year I made the journey to Belfast for the opening day. That evening we both hit Belfast city centre on the drink and then on for something to eat. Most of our previous drinking sessions had been in various bars around South Derry so it was good to have him on it in Belfast. The craic was good as it always is with Scotchy but he was under no illusions about the jaundiced hue of the judiciary and the political motivation behind his arrest. He told me that while others were hopeful of an acquittal he did not share their optimism. He was right.
In a society quick to proclaim its eagerness to move away from the past the PSNI shows no sign of easing up in its drive to keep bringing us back there. The force claims it is only following evidence but it never seems to follow any that leads back to the state. Not one member of the British security services has yet appeared in court despite the heavy volume of evidence that could easily secure convictions.