Family members are convinced the public authorities failed to honour their duty of care to a teenager murdered in the Western Isles and are calling for an independent inquiry.

They are also now seeking legal advice on how to make those whose jobs it was to care for 16 year old Liam Aitchison, accountable.

Liam from South Uist was murdered by Johnathan MacKinnon and Stefan Millar, then both 22, on Lewis in November 2011. It was the first murder in the Western Isles for over 40 years.

His body was found in a derelict property in Steinish on Lewis after he had been due to appear in court for his involvement in a car accident on the island

His father, step-mother and aunt have now spoken out following the multi-agency Western Isles Child Protection Committee recently published internal Significant Case Review (SCR) of how Liam had been cared for by the different bodies. The local ad hoc 'Review Group' condemned the committee's report as a "whitewash". Norrie Aitchison, Liam's father; Claire Aitchison, his step-mother and his aunt Dr Kate MacDonald, agree.

In a statement they said :"We are of the opinion that there has been, and remains to this day, a complete lack of accountability by the responsible authorities."

They only received one phone call from the review team. "This only contact was very impersonal and lacking in any sense of empathy and understanding of how distressed we felt about how Liam had been deserted by the caring services in the last few months of his short life."

His aunt Kate MacDonald, had been acting as kinship carer for a three month period, but had to admit that she couldn't cope with Liam's aggressive outbursts. She was concerned that Liam was also placing himself at serious risk by abuse of alcohol and substances, on occasion necessitating emergency admissions to hospital.

So they were "flabbergasted" at a Children's Hearing review in February 2011 when it was decided to discharge all formal supervision.

" We pleaded with the Children's Hearing to keep Liam on supervision - our pleas were ignored. Liam was approaching his 16th birthday and gravitating towards criminal behaviour: he needed to be protected and cared for by those employed for this purpose."

He moved from South Uist to Stornoway that June. His family kept in regular touch with him and tried to get him to return home.

"We were massively concerned as a family at this stage, with the onset of winter."

They discovered he was getting into a children's home unofficially for overnight stays, without the knowledge of the authorities or care staff.

"By behaving in this way Liam was clearly indicating that he needed care and supervision, and also warmth, food and shelter. He was often of no fixed abode, homeless, and without employment - the social workers and Children's Hearing Panel members had told us that when Liam was discharged from all supervision that support services would remain in place on an informal basis. We saw absolutely no evidence of this."

They said they remained " totally bereft to this day."

"We can only now ask the question: why were we given such reassuring guarantees at Liam's final Children's Hearing that he would be adequately and appropriately supported as he moved into his young adult life?"

A spokesman for the Western Isles Child Protection Committee, which includes the Western Isles Council and the health board said, "The family's statement has been passed to all members of the Western Isles CPC and we will make appropriate arrangements to engage with the family to discuss their concerns."