• MySTV

Parents of murdered schoolgirl condemn 'malicious lies' in press

Margaret and James Watson addressed the Leveson Inquiry about the way the death of their daughter was reported in the Glasgow Herald.

Leveson Inquiry: Diane Watson's parents gave evidence

The parents of a schoolgirl stabbed to death in a playground attack in Glasgow have claimed journalists' reports were "malicious lies".

Diane Watson, 16, was stabbed to death in 1991 following a row at Whitehill Secondary School in Dennistoun, Glasgow. Fifteen-year-old Barbara Glover was later jailed for the killing.

Margaret and James Watson's only other child, 16-year-old Alan, took his life in December 1992. He was found dead with clippings of articles from the then Glasgow Herald newspaper and Marie Clare magazine about his sister.

The articles, published in 1992, were identified by Mrs Watson as being "misreporting" and "malicious lies" that portrayed her dead daughter being a bully, during her evidence to the Leveson Inquiry that is being held in London.

She told Tuesday's hearing in London: "Just because someone has died, there reputation should not die with them. It should not be besmirched by some sick journalist."

Mrs Watson also told the inquiry that she faced severe difficulties in meeting with the Herald's journalist Jack McLean over the article, while she never received an apology for the coverage.

Before the conclusion of their evidence, Mr Watson made a statement to the inquiry criticising the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and calling for the body to be replaced.

He said: "We strongly feel that the PCC is paid for by the newspapers that published false misleading articles about our dear murdered daughter Diane.

"Sadly the malicious falsehoods were too much for our son Alan, who died with these articles in his hand. We feel that the PCC should be replaced by a completely independent body or tribunal who should go over the complaints in person."

Prime Minister David Cameron set up the Leveson Inquiry in July in response to the revelation that the News of the World commissioned private investigator Glen Mulcaire to hack into the phone of murdered schoolgirl.

Following the evidence, The Herald & Times Group, which publishes The Herald, issued a statement saying the company was "committed to the highest quality of journalism and accuracy in its reporting and analysis and adheres to the Press Complaints Commission code of conduct".

It added: "The Herald & Times Group deeply regrets any action which added to the Watson family's grief over the tragic loss of their daughter and later their son. The columns were published some 20 years ago when the group was under different ownership and editorial control and the freelance columnist involved has not worked for the company for some years."

Marie Clare released a statement in response to the evidence given by the Watsons at Tuesday’s hearing.

It read: "Mrs Watson refers to an article published in Marie Claire in September 1992 about British children serving life sentences.

"A subsequent meeting with Mrs Watson led Marie Claire to publish a clarification in April 1993, apologising clearly for the family’s distress as a result of the original article and explaining the background to the sources used.

"That clarification was understood at the time to have settled the matter to the satisfaction of all parties. Marie Claire regrets the grief that the Watson family has suffered following its bereavements, and had no intention of contributing to that grief."


One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.



Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.