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Looking for White Van Man


The Crown witnesses claimed that a van, a white one, possibly belonging to the Gas Board, had broken down at the locus of the incident.
If a police patrol car or a recovery vehicle were in attendance, they were not mentioned.
The prosecution used the van to account for my alleged swerve into the path of Car Genie's Astra.
In so doing, it inextricably linked the locus of the broken-down van with the locus of the incident.

The white van was not mentioned in either of the 2 witness statements taken by PC Bell, nor was it mentioned in the sole precognition statement given by Rob Roy.
The first I knew of it was on the day of the trial.
I knew there hadn't been a van obstructing the road and became rather interested in its origin.
At first though, I assumed it was just another invention, one intended by the prosecution to add credibility to its case.
After the trial, I wrote to Betty Bott, the Procurator Fiscal, but she refused to tell me when she first became aware of the white van.
So I wrote to the Chief Constable and was astonished when I got a call from Inspector Gordon Taylor of Tayside's Divisional Road Policing Unit.
Reading from the patrol log, he said there was a report of a white van broken down and 'causing an obstruction' at about 250 yards from Myrekirk Rd, at 1810hrs on 15 June 2004.
A breakdown truck was standing by and the road reopened at 1827.
I asked Taylor for a copy of the log but was told that as it was 'an operational matter', I could not have one.
I wrote to ask for a registration number and if he could identify the patrol officer with a view to asking him for further details of the breakdown.
But Taylor said the officer's name was not in the report. And the registration had not been recorded.
Months later, I read a piece about the Freedom of Information Act. Inspector Taylor was wrong: operational matter or not, I was entitled to a copy of the log.
I was eventually sent a redacted copy of a
Police Incident Log.
It recorded merely that a broken down vehicle was causing an obstruction. A Recovery vehicle was in attendance. The patrol arrived at 18:11 and all vehicles had left the scene by 18:26.
Taylor's white van was not mentioned.
Nor was there a description of the precise locus he had given me.
But the Log did give a GPS grid reference and this placed the breakdown at the Swallow Roundabout, almost a mile to the west of the locus given by the prosecution.
When I asked Insp Taylor about the discrepancy, he claimed the grid reference referred to the entire Kingsway,
He had gone from identifying the locus as 250 yards from Myrekirk Rd to saying it could be almost anywhere in Dundee.
I saw that Taylor's patrol officer was named (though redacted) on the Log. I asked for him to be interviewed. I was told he could remember nothing about an insignificant incident that had taken place many months before.
So what had I learned from the Log?
That just about the only thing Inspector Taylor got right was that there was no registration number for the broken down vehicle.
That the vehicle was almost certainly the white van.
That it probably broke down at the Swallow Roundabout.
That it was first recorded about 40 minutes after I had passed the Roundabout. That is to say, 40 minutes after the alleged incident had taken place.

I contacted a local paper, the Dundee Courier, but got no help from the editor or his staff. Still, I placed an
advert in the rag, asking for the driver of the van to come forward, offering a reward. There were no takers.

I also phoned several local garages that operate recovery services but found none that had attended the incident.

I wondered if Car Genie had learned of the van from one of his police contacts.
Alternatively, I thought he might have driven past it on his way home that evening - one of his routes home takes him past the Swallow Roundabout.
But eventually I concluded that the most likely explanation is that Rob Roy, having left her office in Perth some 30 to 45 minutes after Miro, remembered seeing it parked by the roadside and mentioned it to her boyfriend, who decided it was worth incorporating into the fake account.