Cupar soldier’s dad still seeking answers to son’s death

Darren Lackie
Darren Lackie

A FULL year after the tragic death of his son, the father of Cupar soldier Darren Lackie is still searching for answers.

Black Watch lance corporal Darren was just 21 when he died on April 3 last year while on holiday with his girlfriend in Portugal.

Twelve months later the authorities are still no closer to finding out what caused the head injuries that claimed Darren’s life in the resort of Albufeira — a source of frustration for his dad Graham.

Mr Lackie, who works locally as a postman, told the Fife Herald: “The Portuguese have always assumed that Darren died after a drunken fall.

“But I know that’s not the case — I’ve had a doctor say his injuries weren’t consistent with a fall and he wasn’t drinking that night.

“The latest from the Foreign Office is that the Portuguese have detected that Darren’s mobile phone has been turned on.

“It doesn’t seem a lot but hopefully this will prolong the investigation.”

A highly regarded soldier, Darren had already completed one tour of duty to Afghanistan and was preparing to fly out again when he went on holiday to Portugal.

He was described as an “outstanding” and “brave” young man by senior army figures at his full military funeral in Cupar.

Mr Lackie went on: “I’ve got to keep pushing and pushing.

“We haven’t been able to get any closure and I defy any parent not to do the same in my position.”

Mr Lackie believes the Portuguese authorities may be trying to cover up the incident to protect the tourist industry.

He added: “I want people to know that what happened to Darren that night wasn’t his fault.

“So many things don’t add up, like his injuries, where he was found and his phone being missing.

“It’s not in the Portuguese authorities’ interests to pursue it but that doesn’t make it right.”

North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell has been assisting Mr Lackie in his quest for justice.

He said: “At Mr Lackie’s request I’ve been in correspondence with the Foreign Office, asking them to raise the issue with the Portuguese authorities.

“I’m ready to do that again at any time Mr Lackie requests.”

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office added: “We’re closely monitoring this case and spoke to the Portuguese prosecutor last month.

“The case is still under investigation.”