Finances could be the key to solving mystery of murdered banker Alistair Wilson


An accountant friend of murdered banker Alistair Wilson believes the key to solving the baffling case is in the dead man’s financial affairs.

Stewart Walker said he is not convinced Police Scotland’s new focus, a neighborhood planning row, would have led to the 30-year-old dad being gunned down on his doorstep in Nairn almost 18 years ago.

Stewart said the clue to solving one of Scotland’s biggest murder hunts must lie in Alistair’s own bank accounts.

The chartered accountant got to know Alistair and wife Veronica when he stayed at their family home Lothian House when they had been running it as a hotel.

Alistair and Veronica Wilson
Alistair Wilson and wife Veronica

He said: “In 2004 Alistair informed me he had decided to close the business down and use it as a family home.

“I have always believed the police should be focusing on his finances. When the police reopened the investigation in 2014, I was later interviewed.”

Stewart believes detectives need to look at how Alistair financed the purchase of Lothian House in 2002. He said: “It would have required a chartered accountant with experience to spot any suspicious transactions.

“Alistair appeared to have no enemies in his social life. He always gave me the impression of being a quiet, loving family man.

“This therefore points to a motive possibly connected to his business and his work as a banker.”

Stewart, 80, from Glasgow, worked as a chartered accountant for 50 years, investigating failing firms and finding anomalies in accounts and financial records.

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He said: “They should look again at Alistair’s work schedule six months before he bought the property up to his death.

“Loans granted during that time to the bank’s business clients, as authorized by Alistair, should be checked in detail. Any loans recalled or businesses liquidated – of bank clients handled by him – should also be investigated.” Police Scotland last week revealed they believe the murder could be linked to a planning dispute over decking at the Havelock House Hotel directly opposite the Wilsons’ home.

At the time the hotel was owned by Guernsey-born Andy Burnett, now a key witness in the case, who used to golf with Alistair.

We told last week how Burnett was at the scene of the shooting within minutes, helped medics get him into the ambulance and comforted a distressed Veronica.

It emerged that Alistair had written a letter to council bosses objecting to Burnett’s application for retrospective planning
permission for decking after being disturbed by drunks and finding broken glass in his garden.

Detectives from Police Scotland earlier this year traveled to Nova Scotia in Canada to interview Burnett about the dispute.

The 55-year-old emigrated in 2013 with his wife Lynn, 48, and family after selling the Havelock.

Alistair was killed on November 28, 2004, at about 7pm after Veronica, then 33, answered the door to a stocky man aged 20 to 40 wearing a baseball cap, who asked for her husband by name.

The bank boss went downstairs to speak to the man and was handed an empty blue envelope with the name Paul on it. He went inside, then returned to the door where he was shot three times.

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Alistair, who had resigned as business manager at the Bank of Scotland, was due to begin a post with an environmental
consultancy firm.

In the days after the murder, police believed it may have had something to do with his job but officers in charge of the cold case are focusing on the planning application dispute.

Burnett has made it clear he is not a suspect and never has been. Police are keen for information about who worked on the decking at the hotel and any people in the area at the time.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Through significant inquiries, we believe the answer to Alistair’s murder lies within his personal life and is not connected to his employment with the Bank of Scotland.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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