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‘More PR than investigation’: Criminologist David Wilson says information shared by police in Andrew Wilson case has been known for years

Shooting victim Alistair Wilson
Shooting victim Alistair Wilson

A leading criminologist has said there is nothing in the Alistair Wilson doorstep murder case that he has heard in the last few months that he has not known for five years.

David Wilson, professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, said the lack of eye-witness e-fits of the murderer, as well as lack of information on Mr Wilson’s banking connections leaves questions unanswered.

Professor Wilson told BBC Radio Scotland that everything recently released by police is more “PR” than criminal investigation.

Police say they hope recent appeals have helped encourage people who may have information to come forward.

At the time of his death, father-of-two Alistair Wilson was about to leave his job with Halifax Bank of Scotland where he was a lending manager.

Police said a planning application for the Havelock Hotel in Nairn could be significant in the Alistair Wilson case.

On Sunday, November 28, 2004 at 7pm he was murdered on his doorstop by a man who shot him. He later died in hospital. His wife Veronica answered the door to the murderer, and fetched Alistair from upstairs where is was reading a story to his children.

Professor Wilson said: “Since that date Police Scotland have been trying to work out who his killer was.

“Where we are today (in this investigation), is where we were five years ago. Five years ago we were sent a confidential note from a man who identified himself as Nate.

‘We are no further forward’

“I subsequently wrote in the Glasgow Herald about what Nate told me in his memorandum, and since then I don’t think I have ever changed my view of what has happened.

“I simply feel, we are no further forward in spite of what seems to be a great deal of activity on the part of Police Scotland.”

He continued: “Five years ago, much of what we knew was in the public domain about who Mr Wilson’s killer might be. We knew there was a connection with the Havelock Hotel and that there were problems in relation to planning permission.

“I wrote, five years ago, that the key would be the big thing that was clearly changing in his life. (That was) his leaving the bank, where he gave out business loans. Who was he loaning to?”

Professor Wilson said since that time he had discovered police had ruled out those connections.

“But it has never been explained on what basis it was ruled out,” he said.

“Why there has never been an e-fit of that man has never been produced (after Mr Wilson’s wife Veronica answered the door to the murderer).

He said: “I do not want to appear cynical but I think we were dealing with media management as much as we were crime investigation.

Alistair Wilson with his wife Veronica and two sons.

But everything I currently see being released by Police Scotland in their press releases seems to be to have been available and in the public domain a least five years ago.

“Veronica ran to the Havelock Hotel after he was murdered. So police will already have interviewed everyone there.”

Detective superintendent Graeme Mackie, who is leading on the case, said: “We have been very clear that time is no barrier to justice and I hope these recent appeals will further reassure the public that we are determined to bring Alistair’s killer to justice.

“Someone out there knows what happened to Alistair and developments in the investigation over the last few weeks are a vital reminder that it is never too late to come forward with information, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it is.

“Anyone who believes they can assist police is asked to contact 101 quoting incident 0515 of March 4, 2022 and Operation Sorn or you can e-mail a dedicated inbox at”

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