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Alistair Wilson’s hotel decking complaint was discussed in days before Nairn doorstep murder


Detectives hunting for the killer of Nairn banker Alistair Wilson have revealed his complaint about decking at a nearby hotel was discussed at the venue in the days leading up to his shooting.

Alistair was shot dead on his doorstep in Nairn’s Crescent Road at around 7pm on Sunday, November 8, 2004.

And police are now appealing for anyone who was in the bar of the Havelock Hotel on the Friday night to come forward.

The 30-year-old had registered his objection to permission for a large decking area outside the hotel which was opposite his home.



Alistair Wilson was gunned down in Nairn

Police believe this is significant to their enquiry and said Alistair’s complaint was being openly discussed in the bar by members of the public.

Alistair, a father of two, was shot after a man called at the family’s home and spoke to his wife Veronica who answered the door. He asked for her husband by name.

Alistair went downstairs to speak to the man and was handed a blue envelope with the word “Paul” on it.

He then went inside briefly before he returned to the door for a second time when the gunman pulled the trigger.



Police Forensic officers at the scene of the murder of Nairn banker Alistair Wilson
Police Forensic officers at the scene of the murder of Nairn banker Alistair Wilson

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.”



Alistair and Veronica Wilson
Alistair and Veronica Wilson

Alistair 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 Alistair had lodged his objection with the local authority on Thursday, 25 November, 2004.

Police also revealed two new witnesses have come forward with more information about the planning application.

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.”



Detective Inspector Gary Winter holds a replica of the gun, used in the killing of Alistair Wilson, during a press conference to appeal for new information at Inverness Police Headquarters, Inverness. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Detective Inspector Gary Winter holds a replica of the gun, used in the killing of Alistair Wilson, during a press conference to appeal for new information at Inverness Police Headquarters, Inverness. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Last month detectives travelled to Canada to interview Andy Burnett, who owned the hotel at the time and was also a friend of Alistair’s.

Andy is being treated as a key witness by the enquiry team and police said they believe the answer to Alistair’s murder lies within his personal life and is not connected to his job with the Bank of Scotland.

We previously told how two men were spotted in possession of a handgun on East Beach a month before the murder.

One man was aged in his 20s and the older man 40-60 years old. The younger man was said to be holding the gun.

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 e-mail a dedicated inbox at SCDHOLMESAberdeen@scotland.pnn.police.uk

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