Aberdeen postgrad escapes prison

January 3, 1997

A former Aberdeen University postgraduate has escaped a potential prison sentence after ending a defamatory campaign against the university.

Court of Session judge Lord Kirkwood last year deferred sentence on Peter Dow until December after finding him guilty of contempt of court and in breach of interdict by continuing the three-year campaign despite a court ban.

Lord Kirkwood, who had warned Mr Dow that he could face imprisonment, has now admonished him after hearing that the campaign had ended.

Mr Dow began disrupting university meetings and widely distributing leaflets which accused senior staff of being "criminals and gangsters" after the university failed his MSc dissertation on magnetic resonance imaging.

He also condemned them as "potential killers" for interrupting his "life-saving work".

But the court heard that his dissertation was only about 20 pages long and was of extremely poor quality. It had been failed by both internal and external assessors and had gone through all of the university's appeals procedures.

Lord Kirkwood said Mr Dow's allegations were completely without foundation, and that the university had acted throughout with consummate fairness and a great deal of restraint.

A university spokesman said this week: "In 1995, Peter Dow gave the Court of Session an oath of undertaking to desist in his unjustified campaign against the University of Aberdeen, and over the past 12 months he has honoured that undertaking.

"Now that he has put this matter behind him, we hope he is looking to the future and rebuilding his career."

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns