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Best friend of Ross MacGillivray says he is 'devastated' following his alleged murder

By Annabelle Gauntlett

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Ross MacGillivray.
Ross MacGillivray.

One of Ross MacGillivray's best friends has shared an insight into who he was as a father, son and husband before he died last month.

The 36-year-old was pronounced dead a short time after he was found with serious injuries at a property in St Ninian Drive, Inverness at around 12.10am on Sunday, November 12.

Since then, two men have appeared in court charged with murder. They both made no plea and were remanded in custody.

Louis Stewart (29), originally from Ullapool, became best friends with Ross over a year ago and says they were "inseparable" from the very start.

Over the course of their friendship they spent hours on the phone together every night as they spoke about their ambitions for the future.

Ross was a father of five and a husband for almost a decade who was a "loving father, and would drop anything for his family".

When speaking about the first time they met, and how their friendship instantly blossomed, Louis said: "The second myself and Ross met we clicked straight away and it was like we became best friends overnight.

"For weeks and weeks and weeks throughout the summer we did not separate at all, everything was done together with his family.

"Whenever I would stay at his, myself, him and his wife would all look after the children together. We were like a family, and I was uncle Louis."

Louis described Ross as a fantastic father who "wore his heart on his sleeve".

He said: "Whenever he was with his children it would be out of love and he would drop anything for them.

"He was a fantastic father, very loving and had a very infectious laugh that I play over in my head again and again; it's hard not to."

Louis reminisced on the good times he and Ross had together, like cooking for the kids and redecorating Ross's house.

Ross MacGillivray and Louis Stewart.
Ross MacGillivray and Louis Stewart.

He was particularly fond of Ross's laugh as he said: "His laugh would trigger me at any moment or create a smile on my face, he was very easy to be around which I found very comforting. We never had a falling out, and one of his best qualities was friendship."

Louis saw Ross as a brother and was "devastated" on hearing the news about his death.

He said: "He did not deserve what happened to him and the people he loved were robbed of a father, son and husband.

"As a best friend, he was incredibly loyal and always put others before himself.

"This tragedy has come out of nowhere, and it took me a good few weeks to really digest the horrors of imagining this.

"Ross was not a violent man, which makes this even more of a shock."

Louis says he will continue to look out for Ross's children.

He said: "As someone who grew up without a mother, after she passed away when I was 10, I know the feeling those kids must be going through.

"I can only try to be there for his children during this time as I know how difficult it is growing up without a parent."

Craig Hayden (28), of Alness, and Leon Headey (21), from Liverpool, are accused of tying up Ross by his wrists while attacking him.

Flowers were left outside Ross MacGillivray's house following his death last month.
Flowers were left outside Ross MacGillivray's house following his death last month.

It is alleged that they repeatedly struck him on his head and body by means unknown.

The charges also claim the men cleaned his body and disposed of his clothing in the Caledonian Canal.

Louis nostalgically looked back at his time together with Ross in disbelief.

He said: "To think of what happened to him in the very same house where I was cooking a big spaghetti bolognese for everybody just three months ago is an absolute tragedy.

"There have been so many rumours that have spread about Ross and his death.

"The bottom line is he was a great father and will be sorely missed."

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