Family’s London protest plan over son’s death

Les and Julie Sheppard with banner in Selkirk Market Square.

Les and Julie Sheppard with banner in Selkirk Market Square.

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A local couple is once again taking their campaign for access to all the information on their son’s death in France, right to the heart of Whitehall.

Julie Sheppard, husband Les and their family, who live near Ettrickbridge, have spent more than three years trying to get all of the official reports into the death of Julie’s son Andrew Watt, whose body was discovered in a country lane, 140 miles from Paris, in September, 2010.

French authorities concluded his death was caused by ill-health.

But despite a campaign that has even involved former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has refused to release remaining information it holds for fear of harming Anglo-French relations.

So next week, the Sheppards will again make the long trip to London for a second demonstration outside the FCO’s offices, where they will join other families in a similar situation.

The Sheppards, who were on a similar protest in October, have now had two large banners specially made by Selkirk firm, Bordersprint.

One of the banners depicts various foreign secretaries, the other shows the photographs of people who have died abroad.

Mrs Sheppard told us: “Families are becoming angry and distressed that the FCO and consulates, as well as the government, are leaving them without adequate help and information about their loved ones’ deaths, something these families have to live with for the rest of their lives.

“This shows a total 
lack of compassion and humanity towards British citizens by their own government.”

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