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."

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