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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 December, 2004, 18:12 GMT
Force confirm Nairn murder weapon
The drain where the gun was found by workmen
Workmen found the handgun in a nearby drain
Police have confirmed a handgun found in Nairn was the murder weapon used to kill local banker Alistair Wilson.

The 30-year-old was shot in the head on his doorstep on 28 November.

The firearm was found by workmen last week in a nearby drain and detectives are hoping further forensic tests on it will help them track down the killer.

Mr Wilson's family are set to appear on BBC's Crimewatch programme on Tuesday in a bid to find his murderer, who was spotted running away from the scene.

'Significant step'

Detective Chief Inspector Peter MacPhee, leading the murder investigation, confirmed just hours before the programme went on air the gun was used in the crime.

It was found last Wednesday in a drain half a mile away from the shooting near Nairn Old Parish Church.

DCI MacPhee, who will appeal on the Crimewatch programme for help, said: "Obviously this is a significant step forward in our inquiry and we will now be looking to maximise any forensic opportunities which may exist in relation to this weapon."

Alistair Wilson, pictured on a family outing on the day he was murdered
Alistair Wilson, pictured on a family outing on the day he was murdered

Detectives have also released information about a man they wish to trace who was seen getting on the Inverness to Aberdeen Stagecoach bus at about 1805 GMT on the night of the murder.

He stepped off the coach at Nairn Bus Station at about 1847 GMT and walked down the main road past the Police station towards the Crescent Road area and seemed to be keeping his hands in his pockets.

He is described as 5ft 9ins to 5ft 10ins tall, of muscular build with a large neck and was wearing a baseball cap with a blue peak and cream back.

He was described as clean shaven and had trimmed sideburns and was wearing a dark blue quilted jacket and jeans.

DCI MacPhee added: "We are appealing for this man to come forward so we can eliminate him from our inquiries."

Family appeal

Police have so far been unable to establish a motive for the shooting of the father-of-two, the only murder in the Highlands this year.

Mr Wilson's wife Veronica, his mother Joan and his sister Jillian will also make television appeals for information to help find his killer.

Various locations in Nairn, including the Wilsons' front door, have been filmed for the show.

Mrs Wilson described the man who called at the door just before 1915 GMT on the Sunday of her husband's death as "weird".

Scenes of crime officers at the house
Alistair Wilson was shot as he stood on his doorstep in Nairn

She added he was aged 35-40 and wore a baseball cap with a dark blouson jacket.

Her husband came to the door and spoke to the man, returned inside with a blue or green A4 envelope, then went back to the front door, where he was shot.

Mrs Wilson and the couple's two young sons have been living at a secret location under armed guard since the shooting happened.

Officers are also following up about 600 statements taken a week after the murder when motorists and pedestrians passing through Nairn were stopped and questioned about their whereabouts the week before.

A 10,000 reward has also been offered by Crimestoppers for information leading to the gunman.

The Crimewatch appeal will be broadcast on Tuesday 14 December on BBC1 at 2100 GMT.

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29 Nov 04 |  In Pictures


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