Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 12:21 UK

Killer runs after guilty verdict

Michael Ross and Shamsuddin Mahmood
Michael Ross shot Shamsuddin Mahmood in 1994

A soldier who was just 15 when a waiter was "assassinated" in Orkney in 1994 has been found guilty of the murder.

Sgt Michael Ross, 29, who became a Black Watch sniper, had denied shooting 26-year-old Shamsuddin Mahmood.

As he was being led away at the High Court in Glasgow, Ross jumped out of the dock and managed to escape. He was caught by police officers.

The jury returned the verdict on Ross, now of Inverness, after a six-week trial. He now faces a life sentence.

After the verdict Ross ran from the courtroom through a side door used only by court personnel, pursued by police.

Masked gunman

He was re-captured just outside the courtroom door.

Judge Lord Hardie told the first offender: "In view of the verdict of the jury and the fact you have no previous convictions, I require a social inquiry report before sentencing you."

Ross will be sentenced next month.

Mr Mahmood was shot in the head in Kirkwall's Mumutaz restaurant in full view of a room full of diners, including families with children, by a masked gunman.

Police have released a scene of crime video filmed immediately after the shooting. The video shows a bullet hole in the wall and a jacket on the ground covered by a sheet.


Police scene of crime video of the murder scene

The killing sparked one of Northern Constabulary's biggest ever investigations.

Ross's father - police officer Eddie Ross who was called to the scene of the shooting - was later jailed for four years for trying to defeat the ends of justice.

Edmund Ross
Edmund Ross was earlier jailed for four years

The charge was that he withheld information from investigating officers over ammunition he found in his own home. It resembled the cartridge used to kill the waiter.

The murder remained unsolved, but a breakthrough in the case came when new witness Willie Grant came forward.

He claimed he saw who he believed may have been Michael Ross coming out of a cubicle in public toilets on the night of the shooting.

He said the person he saw had a gun and was wearing a balaclava or ski mask.

The Crown claimed all the circumstantial evidence proved his guilt, but the defence asked if a boy of 15 could have committed the crime.

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