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Sentence deferred at Inverness Sheriff Court for Strathpeffer man who made false claim of murder

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

A man who wasted police time by falsely claiming to have murdered a man has had his sentence deferred again at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Donald Macleod (53) of Park Terrace, Strathpeffer, was due to be dealt with at Inverness Sheriff Court today but a background report was not available.

Macleod was also unable to attend for sentencing by Sheriff Margaret Neilson who deferred the case again until December 13 for the report and Macleod's personal appearance.

At a previous hearing, the court was told that a major search was launched involving police and Coastguard teams after Macleod lied about stabbing a man to death in Blackmuir Wood, Strathpeffer.

The court heard that Macleod rang police on April 6 this year to confess to the imaginary crime and even gave details of what he had done to the man. He told officers that the man's body could be found in a pond.

Defence solicitor advocate Shahid Latif said this was a “Walter Mitty” crime and that his client, who admitted wasting police time, had claimed he had killed "somebody that already was dead”.

Macleod’s revelations meant officers had to reassure concerned residents that a killer was not on the loose.

In subsequent interviews Macleod told officers that he and his “victim” had argued and then agreed to meet at the woods to “have it out”.

He said a fight broke out and he stabbed the man before fleeing the scene when he heard a car approaching.

The court heard Macleod told detectives: "It's an open and shut case. I killed a man. This must be the easiest case ever."

However, fiscal depute Alison Young told the court: “It was all made up.”

Subsequent investigations revealed the man named as Macleod’s alleged target was already deceased and could not possibly have been his victim.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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