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Dramatic new move as police issue further appeal in relation to the murder of Alistair Wilson

By Neil MacPhail

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DETECTIVES investigating the murder of Alistair Wilson in Nairn in 2004 are appealing for anyone who was in a hotel opposite his home two days before the fatal shooting to come forward.

Mr Wilson’s objection to a large decking area outside the Havelock Hotel, Crescent Road, is being treated as significant to the enquiry.

Officers believe this objection was discussed in the hotel bar on Friday, 26 November, 2004, and over the weekend up until Alistair’s murder on the Sunday night on his doorstep across the street.

Detective Superintendent Graeme Mackie, of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, said: “We understand through our enquiries that Alistair’s objection was openly talked about in the Havelock Hotel bar from Friday, 26 November up until his murder on Sunday, 28 November, and would urge anyone who was present over this period, or knows who was there, to please come forward and speak to us.

“This would have been the first time Alistair’s objection to a retrospective planning application for the decking would have become public knowledge.

“We want to know what was being said about it and who else was there as this may be significant to our investigation. I would ask anyone with information, no matter how insignificant they think it might be, to please come forward.”

New inquiry into the killing of Nairn Banker Alistair Wilson...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No. 023526.
New inquiry into the killing of Nairn Banker Alistair Wilson...Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No. 023526.

Mr Wilson had objected to the building of a large decking area within the hotel car park in the summer of 2004 which he said was responsible for increased noise and litter in the area.

The decking was subject to a retrospective planning application at the time of the murder and Mr Wilson had lodged his objection with the local authority on Thursday, 25 November, 2004.

Detectives have been encouraged by the public response to a several fresh appeals for information during the last month.

Det Supt Mackie added: “Within the last two weeks two new witnesses have come forward with further information about the planning application and also the building of the decking.

“This new information is being examined as part of the investigation and I am greatly encouraged that even 17 years on we still have new witnesses coming forward to help catch Alistair’s killer.”


Mr Wilson, a father of two, was shot around 7pm on Sunday, 28 November 2004 after a man called at the family’s home on Crescent Road, spoke to his wife Veronica who answered the door, and asked for her husband by name.

He went downstairs to speak to the man and was handed a blue envelope with the word “Paul” on it. He went inside briefly and then returned to the door for a second time when he was fatally shot.

Last month detectives interviewed a key witness in Canada regarding the planning application and believe the answer to Alistair’s murder lies within his personal life and is not connected to his employment with the Bank of Scotland.

Police Scotland also issued an appeal for information about two men seen with a handgun on a beach near the town a month before Alistair’s murder.

Following recent appeals for information, a witness has reported seeing two men, one aged in their 20s and the other between 40 and 60 years old on East Beach, Nairn.

The witness has said the younger man was in possession of a handgun.

Following a recent review of witness accounts, further analysis of timings from the night in question and investigative developments, officers altered the description of the man they want to trace in connection with the murder.

Detectives believe the man who shot Alistair was aged between 20 and 40-years-old at the time. This would mean he is now aged in his mid-30s to almost 60 years old.

He was approximately 5ft 7in tall and was wearing a baseball cap and jacket.

Previous appeals described the gunman as being between 30 and 40-years-old.

Anyone who believes they can assist police is asked to contact 101 quoting incident 515 of 4 March 2022 and Operation Sorn or you can e-mail a dedicated inbox at SCDHOLMESAberdeen@scotland.pnn.police.uk

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