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Orkney murder: Ex-soldier’s new bid to clear name

Ex-soldier Michael Ross is to use video footage in the latest bid to clear his name. Picture: Contributed

Ex-soldier Michael Ross is to use video footage in the latest bid to clear his name. Picture: Contributed

  • by ALISTAIR MUNRO
 

VIDEO footage is to be used in the latest bid by convicted murderer Michael Ross to clear his name over the killing of a Bangladeshi waiter in an Orkney restaurant 20 years ago.

Supporters of Ross, 35, say that the footage of a family holiday from around the time of the murder shows he does not match eyewitness descriptions of the killer.

Former Black Watch sniper Ross was 15 when Shamsuddin Mahmood, 26, was shot in the head in Kirkwall’s Mumataz restaurant in 1994.

Ross, a married father of two, was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years after being found guilty in 2008.

His bid to have his murder conviction overturned was rejected by the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh in 2011.

He was also refused permission to appeal against the conviction at the Supreme Court.

Mr Mahmood, born in Bangladesh, was shot in full view of a room full of diners, including families with children, by a masked gunman.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) has already said it would look at the case.

Now, a new and more detailed submission has been made to the miscarriage of justice investigators.

Supporters of Ross say the previously unseen family video shows he was clearly shorter than eyewitness descriptions of the man who gunned down Mr Mahmood.

These put the killer at between 5ft 8in and 6ft.

The campaigners say the footage shows Ross was around 5ft 6in at the time of the murder.

The new application has been prepared by Ross’s supporters and is an addition to a submission made by his lawyers over a year ago which led the commission to accept his case for review.

In a message to those who believe he is innocent, Ross said: “After the extra submission to the SCCRC from the campaign group, it’s encouraging to know that the commission is going to carry out further investigation into my case.”

As well as the minimum 25 years for the murder, Ross was sentenced to a further five years after leaping from the dock and trying to escape following the guilty verdict.

A hired car he left in a car park, stocked with a “survival kit” and weapons, was later found.

The latest dossier has been compiled by the campaign group Justice for Michael Ross, led by Orkney woman Karen Foubister and Ross’s cousin, Craig Thomson.

Mrs Foubister said: “The very first time I met Michael, it struck me that he is not tall for a man.

“I remembered the initial description of the killer released by the police said he was 5ft 8in to 6ft tall. Michael is still only 5ft 7ins now.

“There is no way he could have ever been mistaken for approaching 6ft at 15.”

She added: “It is inconceivable to me that Michael could have committed this crime at the age of 15. I have not met anybody that knows Michael who will say a bad word about him.”

SEE ALSO

Orkney murder: Ex-soldier Michael Ross flees court after guilty verdict

Soldier jailed for 25 years for waiter’s murder

Ex-soldier convicted of murdering Bangladeshi waiter applies for new case review

Ex-soldier wins right to have Orkney murder case reviewed

Murder of waiter ‘could not have been the work of a 15-year-old’

Diner thought gun was a water pistol

 
 
 

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