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Trial date set for man accused of shootings in Skye and Wester Ross

By Ali Morrison

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A MAN is to stand trial charged with the murder of his brother-in-law on Skye and alleged attacks on a Ross-shire couple.

Finlay MacDonald is accused of shooting John MacKinnon (47) at his home in the island's Teangue last August 10.

The 40-year-old is separately charged with the attempted murder of his wife Rowena McDonald, (33) and two other people the same day.

Prosecutors claim MacDonald killed dad-of-six Mr MacKinnon by repeatedly discharging a shotgun striking him on the body.

MacDonald is said to have previously shown "malice and ill will" towards him.

MacDonald is earlier alleged to have tried to kill his wife at her home in the island's Tarskavaig.

The indictment states he struggled with her and repeatedly stabbed her on the body with a knife.

The attempted murder charge claims this was to Mrs MacDonald's severe injury, permanent disfigurement and impairment as well as to the danger of her life.

Prosecutors allege the offence was aggravated "by involving abuse of your partner or ex-partner".

John Mackinnon.
John Mackinnon.

After the killing of Mr MacKinnon, it is said MacDonald carried out murder bids on chiropractor John Donald MacKenzie and his wife Fay.

The alleged attacks on the couple – both 63 at the time – happened around 30 miles away at their home in Dornie, Wester Ross.

MacDonald is said to have fired a shotgun at Mrs MacKenzie hitting her on the head and body.

He is then accused of discharging the weapon at her husband striking the man on the body.

Similar to the charge involving his brother-in-law, MacDonald is also said to have directed previous ill-will towards Mr MacKenzie.

MacDonald finally faces an accusation of possessing a shotgun with intent to "endanger life".

The indictment states he did attend at and travel between the different properties while armed with the firearm and ammunition.

The case called for a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

MacDonald's lawyer Shahid Latif said: "He pleads not guilty to the charges on the indictment."

Mr Latif said defence inquiries are on-going, but said he was content for a trial to be fixed.

Along with prosecutor Lisa Gillespie KC, he also asked for a further hearing to take place before then in December this year.

Lord Fairley went on to state: "I will assign a trial of seven days duration for May 14 in Glasgow."

Two crowdfunders at the time set-up to help the affected families reportedly raised more than £70,000.

Mr MacKinnon's funeral took place in Sleat on Skye with up to 800 people at the service.

Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingstone said following the incidents: "This was a very tragic and extremely concerning incident in a remote part of Scotland.

"It is a very difficult time for John MacKinnon's family."

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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