Thompsons Solicitors’ clients, Derek and Lesley McIntosh have finally received an apology from the Army two years after their daughter Kaylee 14, died when an army cadet exercise she was on went tragically wrong.
Kaylee was trapped when a rigid inflatable boat capsized in stormy waters after a catalogue of blunders which included overloading the boat, setting off in dangerous weather conditions, and failing to take a proper headcount of the cadets pitched into the water.
Mr and Mrs McIntosh accused the army of murdering their daughter and are calling for all those involved in the exercise, and the senior officers whom they say turned a blind eye to face criminal prosecutions.
The Army’s apology came as the couple unveiled a special memorial to Kaylee in the grounds of Fyvie Castle near their home.
Lieutenant General Nick Parker, commander of all regional forces in the UK, told them: "As far as blame is concerned this is an inexcusable event.
"As a representative of the army cadet organisation, I am deeply sorry for what has happened.
"It would be wrong to comment on the individual case until the Crown process to investigate what happened is over, but this event was a terrible thing and it should never have happened.
"I absolutely understand why the parents blame the army for killing their daughter."
Kaylee, a lance corporal in the cadets, died in 2007 at the cadets annual training camp in Benbecula in the Western Isles.
A fatal accident inquiry found that the boat she was on capsized because it was taken out in weather conditions that were too rough for it, while those in charge of the exercise hadn't checked the weather forecast or carried out a risk assesment.
They also failed to carry out a head count and gave Kaylee a lifejacket that was too heavy so it pinned her down under the boat.
And while she struggled for breath underneath it the major in charge of the exercise clambered on top of the boat with some of the other cadets. It took 90 minutes for them to realise Kaylee was missing. By the time she was found it was too late.
Her devastated parents, from Fyvie in Aberdeenshire, are now suing the army in a bid to get justice for their daughter.
But they called a temporary truce with the military to unveil a special carved granite seat at Fyvie Castle, overlooking a lake, in honour of Kaylee.
It cost £800 and was paid for by cash collected by cadets after Kaylee's death. The money will also pay for a special silver trophy which will be awarded to the best two star cadet in Scotland every year.
Lesley and Derek, both 41, welcomed the apology. Lesley, a school bus driver, said: "We have been waiting two years for an apology.
"At least now they're acknowledging the fact that there was a failure and they were wrong.
"This is what we have been saying all along. This means something because they have finally accepted their mistakes.
"We expected an apology but we would have liked it sooner."
Lesley and Derek were joined at the unveiling by eight of Kaylee's friends and the family dog Jordy. He is still waiting for Kaylee to come home and whimpered when he heard her name.
The couple were happy to have the army there, but said there can't be any reconciliation until everyone involved in Kaylee's death is sacked and those responsible face criminal prosecutions.
It's emerged that at least two instructors implicated in her death have been promoted since the tragedy.
Kaylee's parents told how the long-awaited apology, althought welcomed, doesn't make things any easier for them.
Lesley said: " I miss Kaylee every day - she should still be here.
"It doesn't matter how many times they say sorry now it's not going to change anything. She's gone and they took her away from us. That's what hurts the most."