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‘Prime suspect’ in Scots ‘murder’ will be buried in secret amid fears vandals will desecrate grave


A man blamed for murder will be buried in secret amid fears his resting place will be targeted by vandals.

Stewart Dixon, 40, died last month amid allegations in the community that he was the prime suspect in the death of Stefan Sutherland, 25.

He was also blamed for raping a woman who later took her own life.

His mum May has revealed she has been forced to say a secret farewell, claiming there have been threats to wreck his final resting place.

She said: “There will not be a funeral for Stewart as there have already been threats of desecration of any grave for him.



Stefan Sutherland's parents say they are still without answers over his death
Stefan Sutherland’s parents say they are still without answers over his death

“His departure will be absolutely private as I have no ­intention of turning it into a circus for anyone.

“There will at some point be a memorial service, which again will be private and by invitation only.

“I will send my son to God with dignity and respect.”

Stefan’s family believe Dixon murdered their son in Caithness in 2013.

He was never charged in connection with the death despite two investigations.

Dixon was also accused of sexually assaulting mum-of-two Jenna Johnson, 27, who died by suicide a week after the alleged attack in 2018.

Stefan’s family had delayed putting a headstone on his grave while they fought for justice but have decided since Dixon’s death that they will put the stone on their son’s grave.

Dad Sandy said: “It’s not the ending we wanted.

“We know who killed Stefan but we don’t fully understand why it happened and we feel now we can’t really get justice and won’t know all the details of what happened.

“But we will mark the grave and will try to find the correct words to say how we lost Stefan.”

Stefan’s body washed up on the beach at Occumster near his family home 11 days after he was last seen going into Dixon’s then home in Lybster. Officers ­immediately ruled out foul play.

The Sutherland family fought hard for a fresh probe with support from the Record.

They have vowed to continue to try to establish as much of the truth as possible.

Sandy added: “So much of the police report we met to discuss with them last year was based on error and assumption and we have written to them to point that out.”

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