Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Saima Ahmed death: Five officers face misconduct probe

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Media captionSaima Ahmed's brother travelled to Edinburgh to make an appeal for information

Five Metropolitan Police officers are facing a misconduct investigation over the case of a woman found dead near an Edinburgh golf course.

The remains of Saima Ahmed, 36, were found in January at Gogar Mount House, on the edge of Gogarburn Golf Club.

Her family have criticised the police response after they reported Ms Ahmed missing from her London home in August 2015.

Her brother has made a new appeal for information about her last movements.

The family have complained that Ms Ahmed's case was treated as "low risk" after she disappeared from the family home in Wembley and did not gather CCTV footage.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) confirmed that five Metropolitan Police officers had been notified they were under investigation, two for gross misconduct and three for misconduct, over the way they handled information and conducted the investigation.

The IPPC stressed that the notices did not imply guilt.

Image copyright Police Scotland

Ms Ahmed's body was discovered in Edinburgh on 9 January but a post-mortem examination has been unable to determine the cause of death.

Subsequent inquiries by Police Scotland suggest the librarian travelled to Edinburgh by rail, via Birmingham, last August.

Forensic evidence indicates she died shortly after her arrival in Edinburgh.

Last week police handed out leaflets in the hope of gathering new clues.

Now Ms Ahmed's brother Sadat has travelled to Scotland and made a fresh appeal at the location where her body was found.

He said: "I have faith in the police. Hopefully they will get to the answers. Whatever happened, we will find out.

"It's been devastating for everyone, not having any answers to what's happened. You just go round and round in circles trying to think what happened."

Image caption Ms Ahmed's body was found on the edge of Gogarburn Golf Club

Mr Ahmed said it was completely out of character for his sister to disappear. He said the family had no links to Edinburgh and that they had no idea why Ms Ahmed would have travelled to the city.

Det Ch Insp Martin MacLean, who is leading the investigation, told BBC Radio Scotland there were many unanswered questions.

"Unfortunately, due to the passage of time and the effects of the elements and nature, following extensive forensic work and toxicology reports, the cause of death is unascertainable," he said.

"This is obviously very difficult for the family and is the reason for this appeal for information from the public. We want help to ascertain exactly why Saima came to Edinburgh and what happened to her that led up to her death."

There is a possible unconfirmed sighting of Ms Ahmed on Portobello Beach about a year ago.

A man walking his dog told police that he spoke with a woman on the beach, who was walking alone and who closely matched Ms Ahmed's description, at about 10:30 on a Monday last August, possibly 31 August, although the exact date is unknown.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption CCTV images show Ms Ahmed at Wembley Central Railway Station

The woman said she had wanted to see the beach and said she had travelled up from London and was going back down later the same day.

The police want to know if she stayed in a guest house there the night before, possibly on Sunday 30 August.

Ms Ahmed's exact movements as she travelled to Scotland remain unconfirmed.

Detectives believe she bought a Birmingham to Edinburgh rail ticket at Birmingham New Street Station at about 17:00 on Sunday 30 August 2015.

Officers said there was a strong possibility she then boarded one of two Edinburgh-bound services - either the 17:15 Virgin service due to arrive at Edinburgh Waverley at 22:22, or the 13:30 Virgin Cross Country Network (via York), which was due to arrive at 22:21.

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