Bob Smyth

freelance journalist, Scotland

[email protected] ------ Twitter: @Bob_Smyth -----

I was a news reporter and features writer and a sub on The Sunday Post ( for 20 years and before that a sub on the Courier ( in Dundee.
I have a particular interest in crime and policing and have contributed to the Daily Record, Sunday Mail, Scottish Mail on Sunday, Scottish Daily Mail, Metro, Scottish Sun, Scottish Daily Express, Scottish Sunday Express, Daily Star Scotland, Daily Mirror, Sunday Post, Courier, Press & Journal, Scotsman, Sunday Herald and the Herald. I have highlighted the issue of potential miscarriages of justice in the controversial cases of Luke Mitchell, Michael Ross, Caroline Igoe, Sean Toal and Lockerbie.The story list below does not include all my contributions as several were unbylined to protect sources. Some also carry staff bylines. (Sorry, not in chronological order)
CHECK OUT MY BOOK, Crimestopper (ghosted memoir of a retired detective)

Nominated - Scoop of the Year, Scottish Press Awards 2014

Sunday Post
Outcry over release of rapist with dementia just months into a five-year sentence - Sunday Post

EXCLUSIVE TIP - A DEMENTIA-suffering rapist has been freed from jail just months into a five-year sentence. Pensioner Charles Murphy was jailed in August for horrific crimes carried out in the 1960s and 70s, before he succumbed to the disease. The 78-year-old was convicted of a catalogue of sex crimes and violence across Glasgow, including threatening to throw acid in a woman's face.

In10 Magazine (Sunday Post)
Great Scotia

Nova Scotia travel piece

Sunday Post
Lie detector fury: Convicted killer hits back at 'double standards' of tests

EXCLUSIVE CONVICTED killer Luke Mitchell has hit out at "double standards" over the use of lie detector tests in the justice system Mitchell, serving life for the 2003 murder of his 14-year-old girlfriend Jodi Jones, passed a polygraph test in 2012 as part of his bid to be freed but was told by authorities it was not a reliable measure of the truth.

Sunday Post
Ugly cigarettes could be the new weapon in bid to get smokers to quit

EXCLUSIVE Cigarettes could soon be produced in unpleasant colours, with health warnings emblazoned across the stick, under new proposals to make smoking unglamorous. Experts believe the white papers which traditionally encase tobacco have connotations of purity and cleanliness.

Sunday Post - followed up by Daily Mail, Daily Express
HMS Erebus: lost Franklin expedition find may have discovered tragic Scottish sailor James Reid

EXCLUSIVE TIP: Reconstruction from skull bears likeness of missing Scots sailor. A sailor who went missing during a disastrous polar expedition could be about to be identified - 170 years after he and his crew vanished. And Canadian experts are hoping Sunday Post readers can help piece together one of the world's oldest missing persons cases.

Sunday Post - followed up by Daily Mail, The Times, The Courier
Mystery of missing Culloden tartan

EXCLUSIVE: One of Scotland’s most distinguished families have expressed “surprise” that police were called after a tartan plaid linked to the Battle of Culloden was apparently lost from their castle.

Sunday Post
Call for prisoners to be trained to take care of elderly inmates

TIP: Convicts should be trained to push wheelchairs safely to help cope with the growing number of elderly prisoners, according to new proposals. Lags should also learn how to help fellow inmates who are too frail to clean their own cells as well as delivering washing and food, according to a new report.

Sunday Post
British tycoon banned from his own LA shops

TIP: The tycoon behind one of Hollywood's hottest fashion brands is at the centre of a bizarre legal dispute over claims he berated staff in the shops that bear his name. Fraser Ross, from Aberdeen, has Kitson stores in California and in the Far East.

Sunday Post
Picture of Scottish serial killer's lips used as bizarre art

TIP: Illustrations by Scots serial killer Dennis Nilson have been used in two new artworks - including a picture of the murderer's own LIPS. Artist Paul Hartnett spent a decade corresponding with the murderer, who is serving life for killing at least 12 men and boys.

Sunday Post
Scot caught up in deadly tropical cyclone

TIP: A shocked Scot has spoken of her lucky escape from a deadly tropical cyclone. Dozens of people are feared dead after Cyclone Pam tore through the Vanuatu islands in the South Pacific Ocean with winds of up to 155mph.

Scottish Sunday
Page lead


Mail on Sunday - followed up by Daily Record, Daily Mail, Scottish Sun, Herald, Metro
Rugby star Scott Hastings' wife says depression led her to suicide bid

EXCLUSIVE TIP: Jenny Hastings has spent years struggling with devastating mental illness Attempted to kill herself by eating peanuts as she has severe nut allergy Even tried electric shock treatment in a failed bid to beat her depression On the face of it, Jenny Hastings looks like she has everything - a celebrity husband, a comfortable lifestyle, two talented children, and the slender figure of a twenty-something, the result of her years training as a swimmer and triathlete.

Sunday Post
Fury at fresh blunder in Thai murder probe

EXCLUSIVE TIP: Thai police investigating the brutal killings of two British holiday-makers are facing fresh criticism after crime scene photos were leaked online. The images appear to show the mutilated bodies of David Miller and Hannah Witheridge, both of whom were found dead on the island of Koh Tao earlier this month.

Sunday Post followed up by P&J, BBC, STV, Herald, Scotsman, Orcadian
No appeal for convicted killer

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Ross told by SCCRC his conviction is not a miscarriage of justice

Scottish Mail on Sunday - followed up by Herald, Scotsman, The Times
For hire - hacker who broke into Pentagon

EXCLUSIVE TIP: Superhacker Gary McKinnon has bounced back from his legal nightmare to set up a new IT business.

Sunday Post
Apple of her eye

Woman grew apple tree in her living room in tribute to fiance killed in First World War

Herald, Scottish Sun, Courier
Figures reveal extent of crime at T in the Park

The 10 events held between 2004 and 2013 at Balado in Kinross-shire, which latterly attracted up to 85,000 per day, were hit by a total of more than 3600 incidents. These included three attempted murders, 10 sexual assaults, an abduction and more than 2000 drugs offences.

Scottish Mail on Sunday followed up by Sunday Mail, Herald, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Evening News
Review finds in Mitchell's favour - but still says he's guilty

EXCLUSIVE: Police officers breached Luke Mitchell's human rights when they questioned him over the murder of his teenage girlfriend Jodi Jones, according to a report by Scotland's official justice watchdog.

Scotsman, Scottish Sun
Luis Suarez biting shows 'criminological pattern'

A SCOTS criminologist has claimed that disgraced footballer Luis Suarez could be demonstrating a "classic criminological pattern" in his tendency to bite other players. Criminologist Professor David Wilson, a serial killer ­expert and regular on TV crime shows, said Suarez could be suffering from odaxelagnia - gaining pleasure from biting another person.

Sunday Post
Mother's fury over Lockerbie story

EXCLUSIVE TIP: The mum of a Lockerbie bombing victim has slammed a top author after he appeared to mock the law chief who led the investigation into the atrocity. Best-selling Scots writer James Robertson has campaigned in the past to clear the name of the only man convicted of the terrorist attack, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Scottish Sunday Express - followed up by Press & Journal, Herald, The Orcadian
I DIDN'T MURDER ORKNEY WAITER: Convicted Black Watch soldier writes from his prison cell

EXCLUSIVE SPLASH: Michael Ross, who was found guilty of shooting a Bangladeshi waiter in a restaurant, declared: "I did not kill Shamsuddin Mahmood and had nothing to do with his murder." Ross, 35, who did not give evidence at his trial in 2008, has dramatically outlined his version of events in a letter from prison to supporters.

Sunday Post
Nose clippers compensation row killer's mum speaks out

EXCLUSIVE (1st EDITION SPLASH) The mum of compensation row killer Kevan Thakrar has admitted his payout makes a mockery of the prison complaints system. Jean Thakrar, of Port Glasgow, said her son - who sparked a storm of protest after a judge awarded him £800 for damaged property - would have been happy with just an apology.

Sunday Post - followed up by Record, Metro
Scot's bid to remain world's only genderless person

EXCLUSIVE A Scot who is the world's first officially genderless person is facing a fresh court battle - to keep the controversial status. Norrie May-Welby - originally from Paisley - is determined to fight a challenge to a previous court verdict giving the 52-year-old the right to have "sex not specified" on official birth certificate documentation.

Scottish Mail on Sunday
Detective Questions Police Inquiry Into Jodi Murder

EXCLUSIVE: Retired top cop Roy Ramm slams investigation into murder of Jodi Jones on 10th anniversary of killing

Daily Record, Herald
Trump Drops Mum Slur Lawsuit

Donald Trump withdraws $5 million lawsuit against comedian who claimed his Scots mother slept with an orangutan

Sunday Post
Cops Not Out Of The Woods Yet

EXCLUSIVE: Cops cleared of criminality by Operation Teal now face misconduct probe by force

Daily Record, Metro
Disney's Brave Holidays

Americans flock to Scotland on special tours laid on by Disney in tribute to Oscar-winning move Brave

Scottish Mail on Sunday
Scotland's Wacky Baby Names

Adorable, Goodluck, Divinefavour and Lolita..the unusual baby names registered in 2012

Scottish Sunday Express - followed up by Daily Record
Gran Who Solved a Murder

EXCLUSIVE: Story of Scots gran who solved murder could become film

Evening Times
Footballer dies after collapsing on pitch

EXCLUSIVE TIP: A 40-year-old man has died after playing five-a-side football at a sports centre in Glasgow. Staff at the Firhill Complex battled to save him after he collapsed on the pitch, according to an eyewitness. Paramedics rushed to the centre near Garscube Road when the alarm was raised shortly after 8.30pm on Monday.

Sunday Post - followed up by Evening News
Prisons clampdown on lie detector tests

EXCLUSIVE: Prison chiefs are planning a clampdown on criminals taking lie detector tests behind bars. The Sunday Post has learned there will be a limit on the number of inmates allowed to sit the controversial polygraph examinations.

Sunday Post, followed up by Scottish Sun
"I'd hate to see officers being routinely armed"

EXCLUSIVE: Widow tells of fears 20 years after death of cop husband. The widow of the last police officer to be stabbed to death in the line of duty in Scotland has revealed she would not like to see an armed police force.

Scottish Sunday
Page lead

EXCLUSIVE TIP: Story unidentified to protect sources

Daily Record
The McSopranos

The BBC planned to do a remake of The Sopranos based in Glasgow

Scottish Sunday Express
FBI profile of Jodi killer points to wrong verdict

EXCLUSIVE THE FBI has released its secret profile of the killer of schoolgirl Jodi Jones – but all the details are blanked out, adding to speculation that it did not match Luke Mitchell. Jodi's body was found in woods in Dalkeith, Midlothian, in June 2003, and her boyfriend Mitchell, now 25, was later convicted of the brutal slaying and jailed for at least 20 years. During the investigation, Lothian and Borders detectives flew out to consult experts at the National Center for the Analysis of...

Scottish Sunday Express followed up by Scottish Daily Mail, P&J, Scotsman, Orcadian
Video bid to clear ex-soldier convicted of Orkney murder

EXCLUSIVE: A family video is at the heart of a new bid to overturn the conviction of a former soldier found guilty of one of Scotland's most notorious murders. Black Watch veteran Michael Ross is serving a life sentence for shooting waiter Shamsuddin Mahmood, at an Indian restaurant, in Orkney, in 1994.

Scottish Mail on Sunday
Crackdown on paedo pics nails over 130 offenders

EXCLUSIVE A crackdown on internet paedophiles has led to the convictions of 135 people caught with sickening child abuse images. Operation Alba has sent perverts to prison for a combined term of over 160 years.

Evening News
Police return £100k of jewels after four years

A JEWELLER who had £100,000 worth of stock seized by police has had the haul returned following a four-year battle. Officers swooped suspecting John Taylor, 46, was selling stolen loot at his Gorgie shop. But - after he was cleared of reset - officers failed to return his expensive stock back, driving him to the brink of despair.

Scottish Mail on Sunday - followed up by Record, Herald, P&J
Fury as murderer Nilsen's 'pornographic' book is published online

EXCLUSIVE SPLASH: By Patricia Kane and Bob Smyth One of Britain's most notorious serial killers has had his self-serving and 'pornographic' autobiography published while he is in prison - in defiance of a government ban.

Scottish Mail on Sunday - followed up by Record, Sun, Mail, Express, Herald, Scotsman, The Times, Evening News, BBC, radio
New Forensic Tests In Jodi Jones Murder

EXCLUSIVE SPLASH New forensic tests ordered by justice wathdogs probing possible wrongful conviction of Luke Mitchell

Daily Record
Facebook perv stole my identity

Scots schoolgirl shocked after mystery Facebook user poses as her online to contact teenage girls

Scottish Sun
Loch Ness Moonster

Astonomers in Puerto Rico find galaxy that looks like Loch Ness Monster

Scottish Mail on Sunday
Gathering Of The Shams

EXCLUSIVE tip-off: Phoney lairds meet for gathering in Scotland after buying titles

Scottish Sun on Sunday
New Lockerbie Movie

EXCLUSIVE: Producers of The Inbetweeners plan hard-hitting movie about the Lockerbie disaster -

Scottish Sunday Express
Braveheart's Brush With Death

EXCLUSIVE: Scots former Hollywood exec, who quit high life 10 years ago to care for kids, on brush with frightening illness

Sunday Mail
It's McSuperman

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's McSuperman! Man of Steel tribute character created in Scotland to fly onto big screen

Sunday Mail
Gerard's Day Of The Jacko

Gerard Butler has 'black in his soul' and took lessons so he could dance like Michael Jackson

Daily Record
Fan Loses Appeal

Celtic fan loses appeal against football banning order after claiming offensive slogans on top were free speech

Ewan McGregor Film In Racism Row

The Australian producers of crime thriller Son of a Gun have sparked controversy by advertising for Aboriginal actors — to play convicts.

Sunday Mail
Parking Fines Warning

Former traffic warden fears someone will be killed as wardens scrapped and council fails to take on duties

Lie Test Bid In Rape Case

Lie test evidence could be used in civil action over rape allegation against footballer

Sunday Post
Kitson Name Legal Battle

EXCLUSIVE: Scots boss of store to the stars wins legal fight to stop copycat

Sunday Mail
Con Gets Apology Over Salty Lunch

Anger as prison chiefs forced to apologise to cons over investigation into salty food an letter delivered to wrong cell

Scottish Sunday Express
Big screen revenge of outfitter to the stars

EXCLUSIVE: A Scottish retailer to the stars is delighted his store features in a new movie about a notorious gang of teenage robbers who ripped him off.

The Courier
No Charges Against Cops

Long-running Operation Teal into Tayside Police officers has resulted in no criminal charges

Scottish Sunday Express
Third Man Lockerbie Link

EXCLUSIVE: Secret court hearings over mystery third man in Lockerbie bombing

Daily Record
Star Hit By Scam

Wee Man star Martin Compston has his Twitter hacked by diet pill ads

Sunday Mail
Trump Legal Vow

Donald Trump in fresh threat to tie up turbines plan in lengthy legal battle

Sunday Post
Now The Whole World Is Keeking

EXCLUSIVE: Whole world is 'keeking' thanks to Keek, Kim Kardashian's fave soc media video clip site named after Scots word

Sunday Post
Police Widow On Her Support Group

EXCLUSIVE Policeman's widow Christine Fulton tells of 10 years helping other victims' relatives through her support group COPS

Sunday Mail
We Don't Want More Cash

US Lockerbie families calm Libya fears, confirming they don't want more compensation cash from the nation blamed for the bombing

Sunday Mail, Scottish Sun on Sunday
Council's A-Gender

Scot who is officially genderless hails council that wants to let people call themselves Mx instead of Mr, Mrs or Miss

Sunday Mail
Agony For Victim's Son

Son waits to hear if woman who stabbed his wheelchair-bound mother to death will be convicted of murder or lesser charge

Sunday Mail
Pal's Tears For Renee

Best pal of murder victim on decision not to review the case

Record, Sun, Express, Star
Builders Get Revenge On Warden

Builders snapped a pesky traffic warden parked on double-yellow lines and made the pic into large signs to mock him

Scottish Mail on Sunday - followed up by Sun, Daily Mail, Express, Star, Scotsman, Press and Journal
Lie Detector Clears Mitchell

EXCLUSIVE: Luke Mitchell did not murder Jodi Jones, according to the results of a sensational lie detector test

Scottish Mail on Sunday - followed up by Scottish dailies, Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, BBC, STV
Convicted Killer's YouTube Plea From Jail

EXCLUSIVE SPLASH: Video of Luke Mitchell passing lie detector test revealed

Scottish Daily Express, Press & Journal
Wacky Baby Names

The unusual names given to babies in Scotland in 2012

Sunday Post
Beware The Beard

Ewan McGregor post pics of his bearded and tattooed tough-guy look

Scottish Sun
Trump Sues For Mum

Donald Trump suing for five million dollars after insult to mother

Press & Journal, Daily Record
Q Is That?

Karen Gillan lands new TV job in US crime comedy

Sunday Mail
Killer Given Appeal Date

page 33: A killer who has been behind bars since 1977 is to have his appeal heard in May

EXCLUSIVE: Sunday Post - followed up by Record, Sun, Scotsman, Courier
Luke Mitchell's Mother Releases Lie Test Video

The mother of convicted killer Luke Mitchell has released a video of her passing a lie detector test in a bid to show she was telling the truth when she gave him an alibi.

Scottish Sun
Sex Killer Jail Move Bid

EXCLUSIVE: Irish killer Patrick Rae suffers heart attack and wants move to prison in his home country.

Sunday Post
Baking James Needs Help

Bake Off star James Morton so famous he's recruiting a showbiz agent

Sunday Post
Drugs Accused To See Report

Man accused of drugs offence to see relevant information from report into alleged criminal behaviour by police

Scottish Sunday Express
Frontline Policing Pledge

EXCLUSIVE: Top cop pledges more police on the beat if he becomes Scotland's first chief constable

Cop Suggests Free Calls

Cop union boss who suggested paying for 999 calls now asks if non-emergency calls should be free -

Scottish Daily Mail, Daily Star Scotland, Scottish Sun
Gerard Butler's Christmas Turkey

Gerard Butler's new film panned as one of the worst films of the year

Sunday Mail
Deam Job For Gamers

Controversial games company Rockstar North is looking for game testers

Scottish Mail on Sunday - followed up by Scottish Sun, Herald, Star, Express, Evening News
Luke: Why I Will Always Love Jodi

EXCLUSIVE: Luke Mitchell speaks out for the first time

Sunday Mail
Aggie's MI6 Shock

Aggir MacKenzie warned by Government over speaking about her MI6 job

Sunday Mail
Butler Surf Drama

Gerard Butler tells of his near-death experience filming a surfing movie

Daily Record
Author Defends Megrahi Book

The Lockerbie bomber's biographer has hit back at claims his book will raise "blood money"

Scotsman Herald Sun Record Express Star P&J
New Probe On Lockerbie

New Malta court probe into Lockerbie bombing

Sunday Post Sunday Mail
New Fight On Paedo Pics

Forensic expert in bid for new technology to analyse child porn collections

Scottish Sun
Police Widow's Agony

Christine Fulton vows to help familes of murdered women PCs

Sunday Post Sunday Mail
The Pebble Of Destiny

Fragment of Stone of Destiny returned to its ancestral home

Sunday Mail
Lockerbie Law Plea

US Congresswoman proposes a law to encourage more investigation of the Lockerbie disaster.

Daily Record
God Gie's A Hand

Obsessed Maradona fan desperate for rare footage of his hero playing against Scotland

Scottish Mail on Sunday
Little Girl Saved By Love

EXCLUSIVE: Winnie Gibb, disabled girl seen as a curse on her family, brought to Scotland 10 years ago by caring couple, thriving and starting university

Scottish Daily Mail, Scottish Daily Express
Bake Off Star Slams Independence

Great British Bake Off finalist James Morton joins Better Together campaign

Sunday Mail
I Based Psycho On Savile

Top crime author Val McDermid used Jimmy Savile as inspiration for paedophile character

Daily Record
The Thirst Noel

Publican called Noel puts up a Christmas tree in September

Sunday Post, Sunday Mail
Lockerbie Bomber Prints Clue

Megrahi's defence team wanted to use revolutionary test to find prints on key evidence

Sunday Post
Savile's Royal Boast

EXCLUSIVE: Jimmy Savile boasted he was so powerful he could control Buckingham Palace

Sunday Post
Billy's Brave Talk

EXCLUSIVE: Billy Connolly taught Scots words to American colleagues making Brave

Sunday Post, Sunday Express, Sunday Mail, Scottish Sun on Sunday
Scots Prisoners Telly Feast

Scots inmates have twice as muche telly as those in England and Wales