THE FAMILY of an Inverkeithing man who died from a stab wound have called for a public inquiry after highlighting the "repeated failings" of the justice system.

Colin Marr's death in July 2007 was quickly ruled to be an 'open and shut' case of suicide but mum Margaret and step-dad Stuart Graham don't believe he took his own life and in January were backed by a forensic pathologist who repeated his expert opinion that it should be treated as homicide.

Doubts were raised due to the lack of any proper investigation and the admission of a series of failings by police and prosecutors which led the family to begin a long campaign searching for the truth.

Claiming there has been a concerted effort to "cover-up" in the 15 years since, Mr Graham has now written to the Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain KC, and Solicitor General Kate Charteris KC, to request a public inquiry into Colin's death and raise 55 questions about the case that have "never been answered".

He said: "We rightly see a society that continues to develop to a point that it does not accept racist or sexual violence.

"It seems however that our young white male boy is not worth the same consideration or protection.

"If the treatment of many others in our society had been as witnessed for Colin, public outrage would have been rightly, of the highest magnitude."

Mr Graham said that due to the "scale of failings", a public inquiry would be "the only opportunity not only for us to ask questions that have never been answered, but also for the Crown to understand gaps in the judicial system that allow this to happen".

Colin, a mortgage advisor, was 23 when he was found dead on the living room floor of the home that he shared with fiancee Candice Bonar, at Johnston Crescent in Lochgelly.

There was a kitchen knife at his side and he had a head wound.

Mr Graham said police rushed to the conclusion it was suicide and have covered up and lied to protect that position, and the mistakes that arose from it, ever since.

Among their many questions are why was the death not treated as suspicious, why was there was no police investigation or door-to-door enquiries, why did neither the fiscal nor pathologist attend, why Ms Bonar's version of events was not checked or corroborated, how did the senior officer's note book and the scene log book come to be missing and why reports of a third person at the scene were never looked into.

In the letter he wrote: "When Colin was killed on July 10, 2007 his last rights as an individual were completely destroyed by every organisation who had a duty to independently and thoroughly investigate his death.

"No investigation takes place, lack of questions from fiscal or pathology, just passive acceptance of what is communicated.

"The subsequent broad multi-organisational attempts to hide the depth of failure has only served to compound and exacerbate the early failures.

"This is to the point that we stop dealing with just the lack of investigation but witness the attempt to hide evidence and simultaneously besmirch Colin’s name in the desire to deflect and mislead."

Ms Bonar has always maintained that she didn't kill Colin.

She emigrated to Australia with her parents in 2008 but travelled back for the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) in 2011 where she said Colin stabbed himself after she accused him of being unfaithful and said that she would leave him.

The FAI was inconclusive, with the sheriff unable to say for sure who struck the fatal blow.

The family maintain that a separate review and investigation that followed were flawed because of the continued failings of police and prosecutors to properly investigate and present the facts of the case.

Mr Graham continued: "Colin was stabbed through the sternum, a fact that should have raised alarm bells but was allowed to pass because of at best, lazy officials.

"This is not enough, even when it was clear to senior officials that there had been gross negligence, no investigation takes place nor organisational corrective action.

"This is done to the point that Colin’s family are lied to about the actions taking place and a senior officer does not open a homicide investigation when instructed to!"

Police and prosecutors have admitted the way the case was handled was deeply flawed.

A Fife Police investigation in March 2009 found 25 failings, the force and the Crown Office also produced reports that were critical of the original investigation into Colin's death and issued apologies to his family.

Following those admissions, the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner upheld 12 complaints.

Around the same time as the family began pushing for the truth – and they believe it is relevant to their claim that the under pressure force tried to bury any further controversy – Fife Police were facing allegations of corruption.

Former detective inspector Dick Munro was subsequently found guilty and jailed for attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

He was branded a liar by judges after an appeal court ruled that Dunfermline men Steven Johnston and Billy Allison had been wrongfully convicted of the murder of their friend, Andrew Forsyth.

The pair spent 10 years in prison before they were released in 2006. The disgraced cop had withheld evidence that could have helped the men's defence.

With concerns of his own about the way Fife Police operated, Mr Graham said he actually attended and sat in the gallery at Munro's trial.

Around the same time, he said the force was also facing a fatal accident inquiry as, one month after Colin's death, Candice's uncle, Angus Malone, died in police custody.

Mr Graham said: "We have seen many cases of historic abuse and violence come to light with commentators asking how this can happen in plain sight.

"In our opinion, what we have been through clearly shows how this can happen.

"When officials do not care to do their duty at the outset and their respective organisations then attempt to hide this scale of dereliction, despite evidence being presented to them, there is only one outcome."

He gathered and handed over material in April 2021 and again the following year, including new witness statements and two reports from leading forensic pathologist Dr Nat Cary that challenge the original police conclusion that it was suicide.

In his letter to the law lords he wrote: "If the handling of Colin's case is progressing as we perceive, we believe that again it is being deemed best to hide criminal activity rather than face up to failings of the institution."

In the reply to Mr Graham's letter, Crown agent John Logue wrote: "I am aware of the circumstances of Colin’s death; the history of the investigations into Colin’s death; and the concerns you have raised; as are the law officers.

"The police work that we instructed in response to concerns raised by you last year is ongoing.

"We anticipate that the police will report to us soon, though we may require to instruct further work depending on the terms of their report before the matter can be looked at afresh and in detail by independent Crown Counsel.

"I note all that you say about the officials overseeing the further investigative work.

"It remains my view that it is appropriate for them to continue with their work."